Mr Seán Canney TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development today (Wednesday, May 13) welcomed the opening of a new ‘Innovate Together Fund’, a partnership between Government, Social Innovation Fund Ireland and the philanthropic community.
Following on from the announcement last week for a support package for the sector, this Fund is a unique transformative opportunity for Community and Voluntary organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises to innovate and adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19.
Opening the call, Minister Canney stated:
“I am very pleased to open the Innovate Together Fund for applications. We are all aware of the challenges being faced at this time by organisations who work with the most vulnerable in our communities.
“We need to support them to adapt and innovate to respond to these existing and emerging challenges by backing new innovations. Examples of the type of innovations this Fund will support include a greater move towards on-line services for vulnerable people, re-skilling people to new ways of working and community outreach to vulnerable groups while social distancing.”
The Fund comprises a €5m commitment from the Department of Rural and Community Development (the Department), from the Dormant Accounts Fund, which will be supplemented over time by donations from the philanthropic sector. The Fund will be administered by Social Innovation Fund Ireland on behalf of the Department with grants of up to €200,000 available. It will focus on responses to the COVID-19 crisis that deliver innovative and adaptive solutions to existing and emerging social challenges.
The Innovate Together Fund is one of a suite of measures supported by the Department to meet the challenges presented by the current pandemic.
Applications are being sought from organisations who have developed creative responses to the crisis which have lasting potential. These may relate to our community, our health, education, employability and economy. These innovations will support the most vulnerable in our society and those who have been most affected by the crisis and will ultimately help to make our society more inclusive, equal and sustainable.
Speaking about the opening of the Fund, Minister Canney said:
“As we look to rebuild our country, I believe now is the time to act and to collaborate with the philanthropic and social innovation communities to address the issues that have stemmed from the crisis and that will also be part of the ‘new normal’ when we recover.”
The first call under the Innovate Together Fund is open for applications until May 27. Further details can be found on the Department’s website (www.gov.ie/drcd) and at http://www.socialinnovation.ie/innovate-together/.