Delivering digitally driven innovation is a shared ambition across the NI city and growth deals, the DTFF project is a collaborative project spanning across Northern Ireland to operate across all four city and growth deals and all council areas.
The DTFF will play a role in supporting small and micro businesses, including those in rural areas, to be active in digital transformation, supporting inclusive growth. By establishing a capital grant fund to support investment in the types of capital equipment (hardware, software/ bespoke system development) that are critical to the strategic digital transformation ambitions of SMEs and microbusinesses, it will help to address the financial barriers they face when seeking to digitally transform.
Capital grant funding to be provided through this fund will enable business transformation focusing upon the following advanced digital technologies / tools:-
- Smart technologies/ smart environments, the Internet of Things (IoT) and simulation;
- Process automation via robotics/cobotics, additive manufacturing;
- Big-data and analytics;
- Immersive Technologies (AR/VR/MR/Haptics);
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning; and
- Horizontal & vertical system integration, distributed ledger systems/ blockchain technologies.
It is expected this project will be supported by the NI City & Growth Deal Complementary Fund, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Derry & Strabane City Deal and local councils.