Minister Donohoe launches new €500k fund for innovative projects in the public service

22nd May, 2019

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD today (Wednesday 22nd May 2019) launched the Public Service Innovation Fund as part of the Our Public Service framework – the overall strategy for development and innovation in the public service to 2020 and beyond.

Public servants are invited to make applications to the pilot competitive Fund which aims to support innovative ideas and projects from across public service organisations.

Launching the Fund, Minister Donohoe said: We are living in a period of fast-paced global change with an increasing succession of complex challenges and opportunities facing Ireland and our public service. It is therefore crucial that the public service continues to prioritise innovation and that we enable our public servants, whether they be in the Health, Justice, education sectors, or across Government Departments, to effectively respond to these challenges.

“The Public Service Innovation Fund aims to support innovative ideas and projects that will add value and create better outcomes for the public. We are looking for projects that propose new ways of working and that can make processes more efficient or cost effective. We also invite applications that might include a new service delivery mechanism that offers a better user experience for the public. I particularly want to support projects that can be scaled up and adopted in other parts of the public service.”

“It is important that we in Government support great ideas and by announcing this innovative funding mechanism, projects will be realised that might not have otherwise been supported.”

Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Robert Watt said, “Public servants can bid for funding of up to €50,000 and in exceptionally strong cases, funding of up to €100,000 may be granted for the development of their projects. I would like to see organisations collaborating on innovative proposals and match-funding is also encouraged.”

“This Fund complements and builds on the progress to date throughout the public service where we have worked extensively to reshape our work practices and how we deliver services. Importantly, the aim of the Fund is to encourage public service bodies to further promote a culture of innovation in their organisations. We also want to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing as a normal way to do business and to develop solutions to shared problems collaboratively for the enhancement of society generally.”

The Fund, which has a 2019 budget of €500,000, is now open for applications until 12th June 2019. Full details of the scheme are available on  



Notes to the Editor:

Public Service Innovation Fund: The Public Service Innovation Fund is a competitive fund that aims to support innovative ideas from across Public Service organisations. The 2019 call for applications is now open. Applications should be received by 12th June 2019 to

For more information on the types of projects sought visit

Our Public Service 2020: Our Public Service 2020 is the policy framework designed to build on previous reforms while expanding the scope of reform to focus on collaboration, innovation and evaluation. For more information visit here.