Digitalisation funding


What is available and how to get it?


This blog is intended to give a brief overview of the digitalisation funding available to Irish Business to drive the digital transformation of their company. This is by no means an exhaustive list and merely aims to direct businesses towards resources.


Why your Business needs a Digital Road Map

Digitalisation is at the forefront of Irish Business and Governmental priorities in 2022.

To date, we have seen a relatively low adoption of integrated digital solutions across Irish SMEs in comparison to our European counterparts, check out THIS article in the Irish Times explaining Ireland’s digital shortfall.

This is of course worrying for Ireland’s economic outlook and the competitiveness of Irish business, even if you do not export your goods the fact is you are competing with imports.

The government has taken a multipronged approach to solving this issue, from up-skilling the workforce to offering direct investment in companies to aid in their digital journey. Just look at the multitude of free courses being provided by the Irish Government  Here. 

69 courses containing the word “digital”, ranging from Masters to Certificate level across Analytics, Marketing, transformation and more. Many companies are finding it impossible to find staff as they took the opportunity to up-skill during the pandemic. Industries now need to catch up and provide jobs for these new digital workers. 

The upward trend in automation is not slowing down and to remain competitive, companies must invest in their digital strategies and embrace these up-skilled workers who can create added value.


Phase 1 : The Digital ScoreCard

Many Irish SMEs know that they are not where they need to be when it comes to their progress in digital implementation. Like so many things in life, is the question where to begin? The choices seem daunting and foreign, ‘who do I need to talk to’? ‘How long is it going to take’? ‘Should I just go out and buy a load of new software’???

We understand that it is a daunting prospect, undoubtedly your business has got to this point based on you and your team’s expertise in a chosen field, but Digital transformation is a new wave crashing over every business and the good news is, there is lots of help available to get you up and running.

The Digital scorecard is ground zero for your digital journey. The saying ”you have to know where you are, to know where you are going” rings true. The digital scorecard looks at work business over 6 key areas and offers recommendations and advice of where to go next.

To further you on your journey, you must complete the digital scorecard to gain an understanding of where your digital skills, strengths and gaps lie. After you have completed the scorecard, you can continue to the next step and see if your company is eligible for any digitalisation funding.

The digital scorecard is FREE to complete and available to all Irish companies. Click here to see your digital ranking.


Sample of scorecard above: Easy to read  and not overly technical

Once you have completed the score card you will receive a pdf of your results and recommendations of what to do next!


Phase 2 : The Digital Discovery Grant

At last, the big G, g-g-g-g-g no, not Galway… Grants!

Once you have completed your digital scorecard and have identified your areas of weakness, you can now begin to look for external advice on digitalisation funding.

Members of Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Office, Udaras na Gaeilge and the IDA can take advantage of digitalisation funding of up to 80% of a digital discovery project up to €6,300.

So what is a Digital Discovery Project? This is essentially a deep dive into the results of a digital scorecard with the aid of external consultants. The grant allows for the employment of consultants to further scrutinise your existing business process, to explore possible solutions and digital implementations and finally, to create a digital road map of how this could be implemented.

For further information on the discovery digitalisation funding, check out our post below:

Digital Discovery Fund


Phase 3: Digital Process Innovation Fund

At this stage, there are 3 ways to claim or partially claim this digitalisation funding, with some elements only being accessible to Enerprise Ireland and Udaras na Gaeilge members.

As this portion of the funding is backed by the European Recovery Fund, you can expect a little bit more paperwork and will have to engage with the relevant parties and advisors.

The Digital Process Innovation fund is entwined in the 3 types of Grants explained below.

Option 3.1 : Operational Excellence Offer

The Digital Process Innovation project may be combined with Training support and/or Capital Investment support of the Operational Excellence Offer.

For Phase 3.1, this level of funding is only open to Enterprise Ireland and Uduras Na Gaeilge Clients.

The Operational excellence grant is offered to support 3 project types:

  1. Digital process Innovation: The implementation of new and innovative production, delivery  or organisational methods
  2. Capital Equipment, including investment in digitalisation
  3. Capability building through training in Lean, leadership, Innovation and Digitalisation


Depending on your  company size, you can avail of varying degrees of funding across Capital expenditure, Business Innovation and Training as set out below.




Here are some examples of the projects covered under the Operational Excellence Offer

Note: The minimum expenditure level expected is 100K to truly have a transformative effect on the company.


For more information visit the E.I websites Operational Excellence Grant page

Or download the Operational Excellence PDF 


Option 3.2 : The Agile Innovation Fund

The digital process innovation can be applied for as part of the Agile innovation project. This fund is open to all registered companies that are trading with positive EBITDA

It Is designed for companies who are:

  1. New to R&D
  2. Operating in short product life cycles
  3. Undertaking short projects


Because of the nature of the business it is dealing with, this digitalisation funding has a fast track funding page through Enterprise Ireland.

Note: To qualify for funding there must be a clearly defined technical challenge, uncertainty or risk associated with the project. All applications must demonstrate the ability to be exported.

For more data on this fund and the process of applying, visit the Enterprise Ireland website Agile Innovation Fund page.


Option 3.3 : RD&I Project

The Digital Process Innovation grant can be applied for as part of the RD&I project; this fund is open to all registered companies that are trading with positive EBITDA.

The RD&I Fund supports the development of new or substantially improved products, services or processes which will have a competitive advantage in a company’s target market.

The development must involve;

the resolution of some technical challenges,

  1. be non-routine and;
  2. represent a ‘step-up’ for the company in terms of the level of RD&I capability.


Herbst Software & Digital Transformation

With over 40 years of experience across a variety of different industries, we understand the challenges that you face, and we know how to build software to meet those challenges head-on. Our fully integrated ERP solutions specialise in the optimisation of business to business processes. 

Too busy to change is often the precise reason for change, when wanting to reduce growing pains and remain competitive. Using coheratate efficient and phased implementation methodology which work from the top down. 

Delegate with control whilst simplifying staff operations.  Applying efficiencies throughout immediately improves customer interaction and so, digitisation is fact not only about saving money but also about making more money… and certainly it’s all about making life easier for all people concerned.  Simple is smart and digitisation can help you with this. Herbst Software make business simple. 

Check out our video below!


Some other posts you may be interested in:

READ THIS before buying an ERP System
3 ways an integrated software solution can help you simplify your business processes
Connecting Your Business – A Fully Integrated Software Solution




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