Minister Humphreys Launches Digital Innovation Programme

Posted on 6 Jul 2021

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced the launch of the Our Rural Future Digital Innovation Programme 2021. This initiative will see grants of up to €200,000 provided to local authority-led digital and telecommunications projects.

This initiative builds on the previous Digital Innovation Programme that ran in 2018. It has an increased funding limit and an added opportunity to apply for funding to scale-up proven projects.

The 2021 Digital Innovation Programme has a specific focus on collaboration, whether between local authorities or between local authorities and third parties, such as social enterprises or educational institutions. Projects must be local authority-led and, where assets or infrastructure will established, favour rural and isolated areas.

The Digital Innovation Programme is an initiative of the Department of Rural and Community Development. It is designed to encourage local authority led projects that support digital development. These projects must promote, support, or otherwise advance at least one of the seven pillars of digital maturity:

  • Digital Skills
  • Infrastructure
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Digital Economy & Employment
  • Digital Services
  • Community & Culture
  • Digital Transition.

There will be two streams:

  • Innovation

As with DIP 2018, these projects will include trialling of entirely new technologies or innovative uses of existing technologies. Research may also be funded under this stream. The maximum award in this stream will be €75,000.

  • Scaling-up

This stream will provide funds to scale-up an already proven technology or initiative. For example, a project that has only been trialled at a municipal level in Ireland could be scaled-up to county level, or county level to national level. Alternatively, a project that sought to benefit a particular cohort within society or address a specific challenge could be broadened to include additional cohorts / challenges. The maximum award under this stream will be €200,000.

The deadline for applications is 4pm, Friday 23 July 2021

Full details