The third round of the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF), a government-backed competitive fund to invest in cutting edge technology, has been launched today.

The €500m fund has already allocated funding of €140m to 43 ground-breaking projects in two earlier rounds of funding. 

These projects covered technologies such as medical devices, cell and gene therapies, quantum computing and artificial intelligence. 

The fund is competitive and will be assessed by an independent international panel of experts and aims to drive enterprise collaborations involving firms of all sizes, including a requirement for at least one SME and one other enterprise in every consortium. 

To quality for the fund, projects must be geared towards commercialisation over a three to seven-year timeframe.

They must also align with the country's six Research Priority Areas - ICT; Health and Wellbeing; Food; Energy, Climate Action and Sustainability; Manufacturing and Materials; and Business Services and Processes.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar said there has never been a more important time for Irish businesses to adapt and innovate.

"Not only has Covid-19 fundamentally shifted many traditional ways of working, but technological change too is transforming so many aspects of our lives, having a profound impact on our society and economy," Mr Varadkar said. 

"This fund will help maintain our position at the forefront of countries that are leading these changes. It will enable dynamic Irish companies and researchers to experiment and develop their ideas, break new ground and ultimately develop truly world-class innovations," he added.

The Minister for Higher and Further Education Simon Harris said the fund wants to hear from companies in the fields of ICT, Health and Wellbeing, Food, Energy and Climate Action, Manufacturing and Services and Business Processes.

"We want to invest in your innovation and your creativity. Ireland wants to be a leader in innovation, and we want to support you in helping us achieve that," he stated. 
Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said that the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund is a key part of our efforts to prepare now for tomorrow's world.

"The successful projects will be rooted in collaboration between industry and academia, with a clear focus on commercialisation. Crucially, they will have a transformative impact on how we work or live," she added.