Organisations in Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim encouraged to apply for the Collaboration and Innovation Fund

Minister for the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, has announced the launch of a new Collaboration and Innovation Fund.

The aim of the Fund is to support collaborative and innovative projects that enable adults with unmet literacy, numeracy, and digital literacy needs to fully engage in society and realise their potential within Mayo, Sligo, and Leitrim.

Organisations that work in the public, not-for-profit, community and voluntary sector can apply for up to €25,000 to fund a local project, or up to €50,000 for a national project. A minimum of two organisations working in partnership is required to apply for the Fund.

With a total funding of €1 million nationally, this initiative seeks to empower adults with unmet educational needs, enabling them to actively participate in society and unlock their full potential.

Supporting individuals with 'unmet literacy, numeracy and digital literacy needs'

The Collaboration and Innovation Fund, an integral part of the Adult Literacy for Life (ALL ) Strategy, is designed to support innovative projects that address the literacy challenges faced by adults. Through partnerships between public, not-for-profit, community, and voluntary organisations, local projects can receive up to €25,000, while national projects may qualify for funding of up to €50,000.

Minister Harris said, "I am delighted to launch the 2024 Collaboration and Innovation Fund. Last year, the Fund was a huge success with over 50 innovative projects that supported individuals with unmet literacy, numeracy and digital literacy needs. We know that accessing literacy supports can be very difficult for people. There is often a stigma attached to not being able to read, write, or participate in the world online. What is really magic about this fund is that it supports projects that often inject fun into learning those essential skills. That can mean improving reading and writing skills through the joy of cooking or learning new digital skills."

More than half a million adults struggle with literacy and numeracy

Statistics reveal that more than 500,000 adults in Ireland struggle with literacy, numeracy, and digital literacy, hindering their ability to perform everyday tasks such as filling forms, reading instructions, or accessing online information. The ALL Strategy and the Collaboration and Innovation Fund are dedicated to ensuring that no one faces exclusion or stigma due to these unmet needs.

The call for applications is now open, with a deadline of Thursday, April 4, 2024. Organisations are encouraged to form cross-community partnerships and submit proposals that promote adult literacy, numeracy, and digital literacy.

Thomas Howley, Regional Literacy Coordinator at Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB, praised the impact of such initiatives, citing the successful Leitrim County Library project as an example of how collaborative efforts can address literacy gaps and empower adults in the community.

Yvonne McKenna, Director of Adult Literacy for Life in SOLAS, underscored the significance of literacy in everyday life, highlighting the fund's role in providing essential support to individuals striving to participate fully in society.

For further details on how to apply for the Collaboration and Innovation Fund, interested parties are encouraged to visit the Adult Literacy for Life website at


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