Who will be Ireland’s next Ryanair or Stripe - MEP Kelleher

Published on: 15 May 2024

- Ireland South MEP urges companies to apply for funding under the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund -

“Ireland needs to start asking the question who will be the next Ryanair or Stripe if we are serious about continuing our economic growth and prosperity,” said Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher.

Kelleher was commenting after an open call for applications was published for the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF), which is a €500 million challenge-based fund, established under Project Ireland 2040 by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

“The status quo should always be our starting point but from the point of view of business and innovation, it can never be our end point.

“The DTIF is suitable for combinations of SMEs, multinationals (MNCs) and Research-Performing Organisations (RPOs) who are engaging in collaborative ‘industrial research’ and/or ‘experimental development’ towards a common objective. In order to apply, an organisation must be a client of Enterprise Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta, IDA Ireland or be an RPO.

“The deadline for the DTIF is April 30th 2025. To be eligible for funding, applicants must demonstrate that their project would 
  • alter markets
  • alter the way businesses operate 
  • involve the creation of new products or
  • contribute to the emergence of new business models
“When we disrupt systems, we innovate and new technologies are developed. These new technologies create added economic value, so as a country that is where our focus needs to be.

“Ireland cannot compete with the excessively low cost bases of Eastern European or Asian economies. That means we need to be leaders in innovation and especially in disruptive technology.

“Ryanair and Stripe revolutionised their respective industries. I want Ireland to be European and global leaders in terms of supporting, nurturing, developing and scaling up the technologies of the future.

“Central to this will also be ensuring Irish start-ups can secure the required venture and expansion capital in Ireland and inside the EU. That requires the full development of the European Capital Markets Union so that Irish companies don’t need to go to the US for funding.

“Ireland can and must be a world-leader in disruptive technologies. I would urge all those with a unique business or tech idea to consider making an application and to talk to their advisors in Enterprise Ireland or IDA,” concluded Kelleher.