Funding Schemes

There are a number of ways to fund collaborative work between the WiSAR Lab and your organisation. The information below outline some of the methods and support available to carry out industrial R&D either on behalf of or in collaboration with an industrial partner.  The WiSAR Technology Gateway can help in assessing the most suitable funding programme for the proposed research.

Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland provides a number of initiatives to facilitate engagement between industry and researchers. Here are a few of their most popular support schemes.

Irish based SMEs can apply for vouchers, valued at €5,000 each, which can be redeemed with research performing higher education institutes in return for innovative solutions to small business challenges. This programme provides an opportunity for SMEs to engage in small scale or early stage R&D activities which are particularly well suited to exploring new ideas or concepts.

For full and up to date information on the programme, including the application process, please visit the Innovation Voucher website or contact us.   WiSAR has completed many Vouchers, a number of which have facilitated longer term collaboration through the Innovation Partnership programme.

The Innovation Partnership programme is open to both SMEs and Multinational Corporations based in Ireland and provides funding to facilitate collaboration between companies and researchers based in higher education institutes. The programme encourages Irish based companies to work with Irish colleges to access their expertise and resources to develop new and improved products, processes, services, and generate new knowledge and know-how. Projects typically last 12 to 18 months with the level of funding dependent on the size of the company. Enterprise Ireland provides grants of up to a maximum 80% towards eligible costs of the research project. There is also funding available, up to a maximum of €9,000, to carry out a technical Feasibility Study prior to engaging in a full project.

For full and up to date information on the programme, including the application process, please visit the Innovation Partnership website or contact us.

This is where ideas emerge from academia or where an inventor has collaborated with a third level Irish institution to create IP owned by that institution.  Once developed, there may be an opportunity for IP to be commercialised  by way of a spin-off start-up company or through licensing to a relevant company.  The Commercialisation Fund is intended to support the transition of the IP from the research stage to early commercialisation through further technology development, market research and business development.  The funding available is €15,000 for a commercial feasibility study, and up to €300,000 for a full development project.

The Research Development and Innovation fund is available to Enterprise Ireland and MNCs based in Ireland for in-house RD&I. Applications are made directly by the company to the relevant state body through their Development Advisor. The RD&I Fund supports the development of new or substantially improved products, services or processes which will have a competitive advantage in their target market. This will enable companies to increase employment through sustainable and substantially increased sales. A proportion of the grant can be out-sourced to a technology provider such as a Technology Gateway. WiSAR can assist with the technical aspects of an application.

  • R&D projects involve the resolution of some technical challenges in order to develop new products, processes or services. The maximum grant available is €650,000.
  • Business Innovation projects involve the implementation of a new services delivery or production method or a substantive change to the business model of the company. The maximum grant available is €150,000.

The Agile Innovation Fund supports companies in sectors with rapid design cycles to maintain their technology position.  The benefits of this grant are that it allows for a very simple application process and delivers a very fast response from application to approval. Agile Innovation can also be suitable for companies who have not previously applied for RD&I support.  However, it is open to all clients to apply provided the total project cost is less than €300,000 and the grant sought is less than €150,000.

Horizon 2020 is the current European Union programme for research funding, running from 2014-2020; it follows on from the previous Framework Programme 7 (FP7). A large number of funding calls are published each year, across a range of application areas, with a total budget of nearly €80 billion. Some of these target specific objectives, while others take a ‘bottom-up’ approach where the topic is determined by the applicant. Calls often require a minimum number of European partners (typically from at least 3 EU Member States). In Horizon 2020, there is a concerted effort to increase the participation of SMEs in the programme, primarily through the SME Instruments funding model. These offer three phases of funding to help an SME develop a new idea towards commercialisation, with the optional help of a research organisation: download the flyer here.

Opportunities exist in developing products for the related ground segment systems as well as end user equipment, services and applications which utilise space based systems. Projects can be collaborative or solely undertaken by one commercial entity. ESA awards research contracts, not grants to conduct technology development and product development and up to 30% of the contract can be sub-contracted to a European research centre such as a Technology Gateway. Enterprise Ireland co-ordinates Ireland’s industrial and research participation in the programmes of the European Space Agency.  For information can be found on the Enterprise Ireland web-site.

InterTradeIreland is a Cross-Border Trade and Business Development Body for the Island of Ireland promoting cross border trade and cooperation. It is funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland (DBEI) and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland.  All programs work by facilitating cooperation between an entity in the Republic of Ireland with one in Northern Ireland. Therefore, there are opportunities for Northern Ireland based companies to work with LYIT using Intertrade Ireland funding. A popular programme, for established companies with greater than 5 employees, is the FUSION Programme which provides support to fund a high calibre science, engineering or technology graduate in a new area of expertise for the company. FUSION partners the company with a third level institution with the specific expertise. The graduate is employed by the company and is based in your company with mentoring from the academic partner and InterTrade Ireland FUSION consultant. More information on InterTrade Ireland programmes and funding is available here.

The Irish Research Council operates research funding initiatives which support talented researchers in their early stage career formation across Masters, Doctoral and Postdoctoral levels in the area of science, engineering and technology. The Enterprise Partnership Scheme/ Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme is an innovative initiative through which IRC links private enterprise and eligible public bodies to award co-funded postgraduate scholarships to researchers in Ireland.  Company employees wishing to undertake a Masters by research are eligible.  The Scheme facilitates the establishment of new relationships and the strengthening of existing relationships between industry and academia while offering financial support to researchers. For full and up to date information on the programme, including the application process, please visit the IRC website

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