(Cavan, Monaghan & Louth)
- Supporting the growth and transformation of Irish enterprise
- Supporting first-time exporters and boosting capability of SMEs
- Boosting the region’s enterprise ecosystem
- Supporting the development of skills and talent
Manufacturing activities dominate the Enterprise Ireland client base in the North East, with sectoral strengths in engineering, construction products, food and beverages, and print and packaging.
The enterprise ecosystem in the North East continues to be strengthened significantly through the €18.8m Enterprise Ireland funding awarded to infrastructural projects under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund and Border Enterprise Development Fund.
Thirteen funded projects have strong skills and capability development themes, supporting industry transition to new technologies and increasing the level of innovation. These initiatives will assist the enterprise base in the region to become more resilient, competitive, and diversified.
A key programme that Enterprise Ireland delivered in 2020 was the Enterprise Centre Scheme, helping centres to support entrepreneurs, micro and small businesses, along with a growing demand for remote working. €865,918 in development funding was allocated to 9 Enterprise Centres across the North East. The funds will be directed to improve facilities, Covid protection, increased investment in IT and Communications hardware and software and allow the centres to deliver one-to-one support for their clients.
Strong regional clustering is important to enhancing regional enterprise success. Under the Regional Technology Cluster Fund, Enterprise Ireland approved funding to Dundalk IT to develop a Connected Health & Wellbeing Industry Cluster in the North East. This cluster will work closely with the REDF funded DConnect project in the same space.
Enterprise Ireland works with clients across the full spectrum of size and sector from entrepreneurs to HPSUs to established companies.
From an entrepreneurship perspective, the Region’s New Frontiers Programme, funded by Enterprise Ireland and delivered by Dundalk IT in partnership with DCU Invent, has a track record of supporting early-stage entrepreneurs.
A Border Region Manufacturing Cluster initiative will increase the engagement and connectivity of the three border ITs – Sligo, Dundalk and Letterkenny, and of manufacturing SMEs and micro/small companies throughout Counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth.
Enterprise Ireland will continue to drive strong and effective regional clustering and network collaboration in the North East, particularly in engineering, connected health, agri-food and financial services.
The North East has a wide base of successful SME companies from food to IT to engineering. It’s also home to large industry leaders, including Combilift, Monaghan Mushrooms, Kingspan, Glen Dimplex, Anglo Beef Processors and WaterWipes.
An area that has been brought into focus in recent times is the imperative to grow the number of Irish exporting SMEs. Counties Cavan, Monaghan and Louth have a wealth of successful domestically traded companies, and Enterprise Ireland focuses on encouraging more of those domestically successful SMEs to become first-time exporters.
The success of Irish-grown companies, from entrepreneurship to start-up, scale-up and global success, requires investment in regional development supports such as accelerators, enterprise centres and industry clusters.
- Fund and support several important regional development initiatives and investments across the region that are significant catalysts and economic drivers for the North East. These include the Ballybay Food Hub, the Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Centre of Excellence, the Data Value Hub, DConnect and BioConnect Innovation Centre.
- Support the North East Regional Enterprise Plan to 2024, working closely with other stakeholders to build on the existing strengths and opportunities in the region.
- Work closely with education and training providers in the region: DKIT, CMETB and LMETB.
- Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD and Minister for Social Protection, Community and Rural Development, Heather Humphreys TD jointly opened the Food Hub in Ballybay, Co. Monaghan. There are currently eight businesses working out of the food hub.
- Ministers of State with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Robert Troy TD and Damien English TD announced the 24 successful projects, which will receive over €9.3m in funding, under the Government’s Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme (RETS), delivered through Enterprise Ireland. 2 North East projects were funded €1.7m under the Scheme.
- Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, announced funding of €338,000 to establish a new Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway for the North-East in Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT).
- The new Centre for Renewable Energy at Dundalk IT (CREDIT) Technology Gateway focuses on Energy Efficiency and Optimisation and will look at how companies can make their products and manufacturing operations as energy-efficient as possible.
Collaboration is key and Enterprise Ireland’s North East team works closely with important regional stakeholders to deliver enterprise development support that drives the growth of start-ups and established client companies. These include the Local Enterprise Offices in Cavan, Monaghan and Louth; Cavan, Monaghan and Louth County Councils; North East Regional Skills Forum; IDA Ireland; Skillnet; New Frontiers; North East Lean Network; and the Fintech Corridor.