Innovate Together Fund


What is the Innovate Together Fund?  

The ‘Innovate Together’ Fund starts as a €5 million Fund which will focus on supporting innovative responses to the Covid-19 crisis that will also be part of the “new normal”. 

We believe that innovation holds the key to addressing emerging social, economic and environmental needs in a sustainable manner. And as we begin to build a path to recovery, now is the time to come together to build an Ireland that we all want to work and live in. A country that is inclusive, equal and focused on sustainable solutions.

‘Innovate Together’ is a collaboration between Government, philanthropists and social innovations. The Fund is supported by a commitment of €5 million from the Department of Rural and Community Development through the support of the Dormant Accounts Fund. Social Innovation Fund Ireland pledges to raise additional significant philanthropic funds for this initiative.

How does it work?

Over the next five months there will be three rounds of the Innovate Together Fund: 
Round One open call (13th May 2020 – 27th May 2020) 
Round Two open call in June 2020
Round Three open call in September 2020

Who can apply?

The Fund will seek applications from projects achieving impact in: 

  • Enabling online education:  providing primary and post-primary school students with access to technology hardware and any other necessary supports.
  • Youth mental health interventions: delivering services in new ways or offering new types of services (intervention and prevention).
  • Circular economy: solutions for the efficient re-use and recycling of materials. 
  • Improving food security: increasing independent food production for Ireland and reducing food imports.
  • New ways of working remotely: our new ways of working are here to stay and innovations are needed to smooth the transition from office to working at home.
  • Community outreach: finding new ways to reach and support vulnerable and marginalised groups. 
  • Re-skilling our workforce: with the shift in our economy and the potential closure of businesses, there is a need for re-training and re-education of workers. 
  • Physical health: online medical and physical health innovations.

What does the Fund offer?

  • Cash grants starting at €20,000 
  • A business supports package
  • A place on an online Accelerator Programme, which will be conducted through webinars
  • Project performance management

Eligibility & Criteria

Projects must meet the criteria, outlined below, which are set by both Social Innovation Fund Ireland and the Innovate Together Fund. 

Social Innovation Fund Ireland Criteria 

  • The project must address a critical social or environmental issue.
  • The project must be innovative in an Irish context.
  • The project must be based in the Republic of Ireland.
  • The project must have the potential and desire to scale or replicate in Ireland (it may also have potential internationally, but this is not a requirement).
  • The project must provide evidence that it is up and running, or has been tested at least in a minimal way.
  • Applicants must come from an entity that has a ‘not for profit’ legal form for example, a charity or voluntary organisation.

Innovate Together Fund Criteria 

  • Innovations that are relevant to solving an emerging need arising from the current Covid-19 crisis and the recovery phase. This can mean either
    • Meeting an increase in demand for an existing innovative service or product (for example extending a service from young people to older people as well)
    • An alteration of an existing innovative service or product (for example taking a service online)
    • An offering of a new innovative service or product.
  • The innovation must work to effect change beyond our current experience of crisis, and can demonstrate that it should be part of the “new normal” in Ireland. 


Projects that are not eligible to apply are:

  • Research projects.
  • Projects seeking funding for capital assets (such as buildings, vans or equipment).
  • Projects promoting or aligned with a political party.
  • Projects that only accept participants of a particular faith or religious denomination.
  • Projects based outside the Republic of Ireland.
  • Projects led by people under 18 years of age.
  • Projects that are an idea (only) and that have not yet started.
  • Projects in receipt of other Government crisis funding.


  • Applicants under 18 years of age.
  • Commercial companies (the fund is only open to not-for-profit organisations such as charities, trusts, schools, or companies limited by guarantee).
  • Staff, directors and their immediate family members of Social Innovation Fund Ireland and any philanthropic donors supporting this fund.
  • Individuals, statutory or public bodies, local development companies, LEADER companies, companies limited by shares, and organisations that are funded 100% by state bodies or agencies and continue to be in receipt of that funding.
  • Organisations which were not in existence prior to 1st January 2019 and/or were not operating at the start of March 2020.


This Fund has now closed for applications.


What can cash grants be spent on? 

The cash grant must be spent on the project that won the award. The specific use of the cash grants will be agreed between Social Innovation Fund Ireland and the Awardee. 

Cash grants may not be used to pay off debts or purchase vehicles, land or buildings.

If my organisation has already or is currently in receipt of a grant from Social Innovation Fund Ireland, can I still apply?

Yes, even if you have previously been funded or are currently being funded by Social Innovation Fund Ireland you can apply to the Innovate Together Fund with a new project or to extend an existing innovative project which fits the fund criteria.

Who will decide who wins the awards? 

The selection process is outlined below. Final decisions are made by the Board of Social Innovation Fund Ireland.

What is the selection process? 

The selection process  includes the following  steps:

  • Stage 1: Open call for applications 
  • Stage 2: Selection process 
  • Stage 3: Final checks on short-listed applicants 
  • Stage 4: Final decision by Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s Board 

We expect to finalise the selection process 5 weeks after closing the open call for applications.

What are the terms and conditions of the fund?

By applying for the Innovate Together Fund, all applicants have agreed to the following terms and conditions.

  • You are 18 years of age or older.
  • You have given full and truthful information, both verbal and written, at all stages of the application and selection process. 
  • You are eligible to apply. This means that your organisation meets the criteria for Social Innovation Fund Ireland and the Innovate Now Fund, as described earlier.
  • You have the right to apply. This means that you hold the necessary rights to carry out the project.
  • By sending in your application, you accept these terms and conditions and our Privacy Statement. If you do not comply with these terms and conditions, you may be disqualified and may have to return any award granted. 
  • Social Innovation Fund Ireland will hold the personal details which you submitted with your application form. We will only share this information with the third parties administering the application and selection process unless we agree otherwise with you. Please see our Privacy Statement for full details.
  • The Awardees must take part in publicity about the grant. Social Innovation Fund Ireland reserves the right to publish the names of organisations that are successful in their applications.
  • If you decline an award or if the award is taken back because you did not comply with the terms and conditions, the Directors may select an alternative Awardee.

Any further questions?

Please contact