Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD announced the results of the new €2.5 million Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Competitive Fund. Sixteen projects have received funding. Among those receiving funding were three projects from the South East region which will be delivered as collaborations among the Local Enterprise Offices from Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford and who received €345,000 towards same.
The successful projects were Green for Micro, Initium South East and Incrementum South East. The Green for Micro project aims to support enterprises incorporate sustainable practices to assist them in transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy focused on water, energy, waste, procurement. The Initium South East project is an innovative series of start-up programmes led by the South East LEOs, Enterprise Ireland, and the Ireland South East Office in partnership with the South East Business Innovation Centre and IT Carlow which aims to animate, develop and support the creation of 40 new specialised Start Up companies in the South East. The Incrementum South East project is a targeted business development programme for the LEO Portfolio of clients over 10 employees which aims to increase their engagement in R&D and Export Activity.
Announcing the successful applicants at a special event in the Council Chamber of Monaghan County Council, Minister Humphreys said: “The successful applicants demonstrated a real intent to collaborate, not only with neighbouring County LEOs but also with other stakeholders such as ITs, Innovation Centres, Local Authorities and others. So, while sixteen of the LEOs will lead on the projects, the vast majority of the LEOs throughout the country will also be part of these projects through collaboration.”
“There is a wonderful array of projects in the winning sixteen and they are spread right across the country. I am particularly pleased to see projects in areas like digital technologies; green and environmental activities; e-commerce; and e-hubs and remote working. This is proof that our LEOs are looking to the future, and tackling the challenges of tomorrow, today.”
The successful applications were selected through a rigorous evaluation process based on criteria, which included economic impacts and value for money, collaboration and participation, Future Jobs orientation, collaboration and building regional strengths and viability and sustainability.
Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Waterford, said; “This announcement by Minister Humphreys is a great boost to Local Enterprise Offices in the South East Region. These projects will address a number of issues in the region, whether it’s moving businesses towards a low carbon economy, boosting start-ups or increasing engagement in R&D and export activity for LEO clients. This funding highlights the impact that Local Enterprise Offices are making and shows that they continue to be best placed in driving innovation and enterprise in towns and villages across the country.”