Digital transformation grants up to £200k for NI firms

Grants up to £200,000 to help Northern Ireland firms investigate and implement new digital technologies that will improve business operations.

A new grant scheme to support businesses and set them on the path to digital transformation has been launched in Northern Ireland.

Economy Minister Dianne Dodds has revealed the Covid-19 Process and Organisational Improvement Grant (POIG), one of eight new schemes developed by Invest NI over the last year to help businesses address the impact of Covid-19 on their operations.

“These improvements will ultimately improve the resilience and efficiency of these businesses for the future”

“This new scheme from Invest NI will provide grant support to eligible companies accelerate the benefits of Industry 4.0 which is the ongoing automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices, using modern smart technology,” Dodds said.

“Through this scheme, companies will be supported to develop and implement process and organisational improvements using digital technologies, such as automation, robotics or digitisation. These improvements will ultimately improve the resilience and efficiency of these businesses for the future.”

Get ready for Industry 4.0

POIG is open to any business operating in one of the following sectors:

  • manufacturing
  • construction
  • information and communication
  • professional, scientific and technical activities

Eligible businesses will be able to apply for support towards staff, and potential consultancy costs, as part of a process or organisation improvement project. Eligible projects must have minimum labour (internal staff) or consultancy costs of £40,000, of which internal staff costs must be at least 20pc.

“The improvements must support the business to work in a new way and help it towards industry 4.0”

Applications are now open and will close at 12 noon on the Friday 21 May 2021. To learn more go to: www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/poig

The maximum level of grant support will be £50,000 for small and medium size companies and £200,000 for large companies.

“The specific aim of this scheme is to improve company competitiveness by helping companies build out internal teams to research, identify and implement improvements using new technologies,” said Kevin Holland, CEO, Invest NI.

“It will also provide support towards engaging the advice of consultants as needed, if the knowledge does not exist within the business.

“The internal team must be specifically involved in investigating new and different technologies to help the business change operations; and to then implement these new process and organisation improvements. The improvements must support the business to work in a new way and help it towards industry 4.0.”

Funding will be awarded to applicants on a competitive basis. Applications will be assessed and scored, with the highest scoring companies awarded funding, until the available funding budget for this call has been fully allocated or the minimum criterion score is reached. 

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 6 May 2021

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