Fund capitalises on global respect for Irish agri-food

Enterprise Ireland has opened a Competitive Feasibility Fund for Agri Businesses.

The fund is targeted mainly at individuals or early stage business operating in the agri-business sector, including, but not limited to machine design and manufacturing; fabrication, engineering, and technical activities; life sciences products with application in the agri-sector; farm related software and related services; vet-pharma, animal health, and chemical products.

Food projects are also eligible to apply.

Products/services with international market appeal are of most interest under this programme.

Successful applicants may receive up to €25,000 of funding on eligible expenditure of €50,000.

The total fund size is up to €250,000. Applications for funding are considered on a competitive basis.

Applications close next week, on Tuesday, September 8.

The objective is to assist new start-up companies or individual entrepreneurs, to investigate the viability of new growth-orientated business propositions which could become a High Potential Start-up [HPSU].

HPSUs are companies that can develop scalable innovative technologies, products or services for sale on world markets.

Enterprise Ireland seeks to support projects that are likely to achieve significant growth within three years (sales of €1m per annum and employment of 10 or more) or, where a company is required to have FDA or CE approval, to have €1 million in sales within three years of approval to sell.

Enterprise Ireland recognise the need to encourage, grow and develop the next generation of Irish agri-business companies competing on a global scale.

The Irish agri-business sector already has an unrivalled reputation across the world.

Agricultural machinery exports reach over €100m per annum, primarily to the UK and Europe, with several Irish machinery companies exporting on a global scale.

The agri-business sector is set to continue to expand, following the abolition of dairy quotas in 2015, and the commitments to the Irish food and agri-business industry in Harvest 2020.

Am I eligible?

The applicant must be part of the lead management team, with a business start up that has the potential to create jobs and export growth.

The new business must be:

* Less than three years since the date of incorporation.

* A manufacturing or an internationally traded services business.

* Not involved in activities that fall within gambling or “gaming” as defined in the Gaming & Lotteries Act 1956.

* Have the potential to create jobs and significant growth in the agri-business sector.

* Projects focused solely on the domestic market may not be considered to have significant growth potential.

Ineligible Applicants

The fund is not open to the following:

* Applications that are not in the agri-business sector.

* Projects focused solely on the domestic market.

* Individuals or start-up companies that have been approved financial support from Enterprise Ireland (including feasibility grants, New Frontiers Stipend, CORD Grant, Competitive Start Fund or Equity Investment) in the past two years.

* Applicants who were approved any other state funding for the project for which they are seeking feasibility funding.

* Companies who have already reached their de minimis aid limit.

* Applications received after the call close date, 3pm, Tuesday, September 8, 2015.

Eligible Activities

Successful applicants will be awarded feasibility funding to support a maximum of 50% of the study costs.

Typical elements involved in carrying out a feasibility study include market research, cost analysis, financial projections, manufacturing process assessment, plant evaluation and selection, raw material sourcing, prototyping, negotiating with potential joint venture partners, or obtaining a manufacturing licence.

Eligible costs

Eligible costs include salary costs of the promoter(s) or company employees, foreign travel and subsistence costs related to the project, fees of external consultants, costs of building and/or testing a prototype, and costs of exhibiting at or visiting one overseas trade fair.

Any expenditure incurred prior to the call close date of 3pm, Tuesday, September 8, 2015 is not eligible for support.

The maximum grant available is €25,000.

The grant is calculated at a maximum of 50% of eligible expenditure of up to €50,000 incurred by the successful applicant.

Eligible applications for funding will be considered on a competitive basis.

Enterprise Ireland will assess eligibility of the activities proposed in the study and associated costs.

The amount of support will be determined by the Evaluation Panel following the Final Assessment.

How do I apply?

Applications must be submitted via the Enterprise Ireland online application system before 3pm on Tuesday, September 8, 2015.

For details about the Competitive Feasibility Fund, please email to agrifund@enterprise-ireland.com  or telephone to +353 (0)90 6487100.

Enterprise Ireland


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