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Ambition: 3

Irish enterprises achieving sustainable competitive advantage through customer-led innovation and digitalisation.

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Key Targets:
R&D: Enterprise expenditure on R&D to reach €1.4b by 2024
R&D: 300 R&D projects of more than €100k supported
Productivity: 2.5% annual average increase in value-added per person employed
Productivity: 400 digitalisation interventions with companies
Enterprise Ireland is the agency responsible for strengthening the engagement of enterprises with research and innovation.

Increasing enterprise investment and capability in innovation, digital adoption, and transformation is essential to strengthening the productivity and operational effectiveness of Irish enterprises, enabling companies to develop high-value products and services and compete in international markets.


Accelerate the development of innovation capability in Irish enterprise

Enterprise Ireland, working with the LEOs, will build innovation capability in Irish enterprise, assisting a greater number of companies to invest effectively in innovation and increasing the number of companies engaging in R&D. We will drive an increased focus on market and customer needs-led innovation in Irish enterprise.

We will accelerate the innovation performance, resilience and internationalisation of Irish firms by systematically identifying and tracking the latest trends and technologies, driving future global growth and working with national and EU partners to enable enterprises to realise growth opportunities in these emerging areas.

Deliver a step-change in the effectiveness and impact of the research and innovation system on enterprise development

Increasing enterprise engagement in RD&I through collaboration is critical to deepening innovation capability across enterprises of all sizes and delivering innovation-driven entrepreneurship. During this strategy, Enterprise Ireland will lead on further strengthening links between enterprise and the research ecosystem, including the commercialisation of research and technology transfer and delivering a more coordinated approach to innovation within the research ecosystem.

Digitally enable, connect and transform internationally focused Irish enterprise

Enterprise Ireland will drive a major increase in digital adoption and transformation by Irish enterprises, helping to strengthen competitiveness and productivity across people, processes and technology. Our new approach will address key barriers to digitalisation, including awareness, skills and capability, technology and finance. Our activities will underpin the achievement of the objectives and targets of the EU’s 2030 Digital Compass, significantly increasing the levels of digital adoption within the SME and, through the LEO network, microenterprise base.

To achieve our objectives in this area, Enterprise Ireland will:
Innovation capability development
  • Build enterprise capability in innovation and assist more companies to invest effectively in innovation, by providing enhanced, longer-term funding measures that are customised to clients’ unique needs
  • In line with the objectives under Housing for All, provide targeted advisory and technology assistance to the construction sector to deliver an increase in innovation and productivity
Research and innovation system
  • Deliver targeted initiatives to strengthen collaborative networks of enterprise and research institutions developing leading edge innovation at national (Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund) and EU level (Horizon Europe, Eureka)
  • Accelerate the adoption of consistent innovation capability frameworks by research bodies, strengthening the effectiveness and impact of the Research & Innovation system on enterprise development
  • Through Knowledge Transfer Ireland and commercialisation funding measures, drive the commercialisation of research and technology transfer, delivering disruptive new start-ups, and helping enterprise growth through Intellectual Property and licence development
  • Drive increased industry collaboration and investment with the research ecosystem, including Technology Centres and Gateways, developing proposals for new industry-led initiatives in strategic areas
  • Enable companies to start their digital maturity journeys through a suite of advisory and funding assistance
  • Drive increased digital connectivity between Irish SMEs, MNCs, research institutes, European Digital Innovation Hubs, and others in the ecosystem
  • Deliver in-depth, one-to-one assistance to drive digital transformational change amongst clients with the potential to significantly impact jobs and export growth