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Digital Transformation Flexible Fund

The Digital Transformation Flexible Fund (DTFF) is a grant scheme in Northern Ireland designed to boost digital innovation among small and micro businesses by overcoming financial barriers. It provides up to £7.5 million for investing in advanced digital technologies and capital equipment. This fund focuses on driving business transformation through innovation rather than simply digitizing existing operations. DTFF is funded by the City and Growth Deal Complementary Fund, DAERA, and the Derry and Strabane Growth Deal.

This cross Council partnership is made of the following members:

  • Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
  • Ards and North Down Borough Council
  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
  • Belfast City Council
  • Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
  • Derry City and Strabane District Council (subject to participation)
  • Fermanagh and Omagh District Council
  • Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council
  • Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
  • Mid Ulster District Council
  • Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

Key points about DTFF:

  1. Objective: DTFF aims to stimulate digital innovation, especially for small and micro businesses, across Northern Ireland.
  2. Management: Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, as part of the Full Fibre Northern Ireland consortium, will manage and deliver the program.
  3. Eligibility: Small and micro businesses (including social enterprises) in various sectors, excluding primary agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, are eligible if they are VAT registered and have at least a 12-month trading history.
  4. Focus Areas: The fund supports investment in advanced digital technologies, including Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, big data, immersive technologies (AR/VR/MR), artificial intelligence, and blockchain.
  5. Funding Structure: DTFF provides 70% of eligible costs, with the remaining 30% to be matched by the applicant.

The program aims to drive digital transformation and inclusive growth across Northern Ireland by facilitating access to digital technologies and innovation for small and micro businesses.

Project Eligibility Criteria
The Digital Transformation Flexible Fund (DTFF) supports the purchase of capital equipment and resources for advanced digital technologies such as IoT, robotics, big data, AR/VR, AI, and blockchain. However, it does not fund the digitization of existing business systems, like website development, buying laptops, or ongoing software maintenance costs. For detailed information, please refer to the Applicant Guidance Section.

Project Ineligibility Expenditure

DTFF will not facilitate capital investment in the following which could be viewed more as ‘digitisation of existing operations’, rather than digital innovation/transformation:

  • Website and e-commerce development,
  • Social media strategies,
  • Mobile marketing, paid advertising, blogging and content creation,
  • Search engine optimization,
  • Purchase of IT equipment,
  • Customer relationship management and,
  • Non-industrial 3-D printing.

This list is not exhaustive and the DTFF Operations Team have the discretion to omit costs if deemed ineligible and/or not within the scope of the project.

If you are unsure whether your project is eligible or ineligible, you can contact a member of the DTFF Operations Team at dtff@nmandd.org.

You can find more information about applying here

Post Date - 2023/11/05
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