€3 million in Awards Announced for 51 COVID-19 Community Response Projects by Rethink Ireland Innovate Together Fund

A COVID-19 mobile health unit, an island fisheries app, a youth mental health signposting tool and a neonatal unit virtual tour and classroom are among fifty-one projects to receive €3 million Innovate Together Fund from Rethink Ireland

23rd September 2020: Rethink Ireland Announce €3 million in First Round Awards for 51 COVID-19 Community Response Projects through the Innovate Together Fund. Pictured are Anthony Brennan, CEO, Zurich Ireland, Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Rethink Ireland, Dr. Fiona O'Reilly, General Manager, Safetynet Primary Care, Emma Coughlan, Clinical Nurse Manager of the COVID-19 Mobile Health and Screening Unit, Safetynet Primary Care, Ian Power, CEO, SpunOut and Marie Slevin, Clinical Developmental Psychologist at the Department of Neonatology, The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street. Pic: Marc O’Sullivan

€3 million in awards has been announced for 51 projects in the first phase of Rethink Ireland’s Innovate Together Fund, after 481 projects applied for grants from the €5.6 million Fund.

Following a competitive selection process which saw 481 projects apply, the 51 best projects have been chosen to receive cash grants of between €20,000 and €200,000 to support their innovative responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. These projects will also receive a non-financial business support package.

The Government of Ireland, through the Department of Rural and Community Development (via the Dormant Accounts Fund), committed €5M to the Innovate Together Fund as part of a €40M support package to the community and voluntary sector in May. Rethink Ireland have since received additional donations from the Z Zurich Foundation, Medtronic, Twitter and Oakfield Trust. The Fund supports charities’ innovative responses to the COVID-19 crisis that will also provide lasting change.

Deirdre Mortell CEO of Rethink Ireland said:

“We are delighted to announce these 51 Awardees today under the first phase of the Innovate Together Fund. In these times of extraordinary crisis, the invention and imagination shown by the 481 applicants and 51 Awardees is remarkable. The projects cover the spectrum from physical and mental health supports, to online education, community outreach, sustainability, food security and reskilling our workforce. It is phenomenal to see the depth and breadth of innovation in Ireland at the moment. Our Fund remains open for philanthropic donations to increase the funds available in Round 2.”

Minister Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Social Protection and Community and Rural Development said;

“I would like to extend my congratulations to the first 51 Awardees of the Innovate Together Fund announced today by Rethink Ireland.  This fund is supported by my Department via the Dormant Accounts Fund. The successful projects announced today really showcase the amazing ways that all communities across Ireland are innovating in response to the social challenges presented by COVID-19.”

The Z Zurich Foundation, a charitable foundation established by Zurich Insurance Company Ltd and Zurich Life Insurance Company Ltd, has committed €500,000 to the Innovate Together Fund as part of its global COVID-19 response.

Anthony Brennan, CEO, Zurich Ireland said:

“Backed by the Z Zurich Foundation, Zurich in Ireland is very proud to work together with Rethink Ireland to implement innovative social projects that help build resilience in communities, as they adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.”