Social Innovation Fund Ireland (SIFI) has announced the launch of Animate 2017 – a €220,000 fund to support innovative, early stage projects or organisations focused on addressing a health or social issue in communities across Ireland. The €220,000 fund will be shared between 11 successful applicants in 2017. The deadline for applications is 7th July 2017.

The Animate Fund is a commitment between SIFI, the Irish Government, and Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology. Now in its second year, Animate has expanded to include the Healthy Community Awards, supported by Medtronic, with 10 of the 11 awards granted to projects promoting good health and wellbeing, and healthy lives for all.

The Healthy Community Awards is designed to create wide-reaching impact toward a healthier Ireland and contribute to solving global health issues as identified in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The fund invites applications with projects related to SDG 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing – to address local health problems and remove barriers to healthcare.

Animate provides funding to projects that recognise social issues in their own communities and have a creative or innovative solution to address them. Last year we received outstanding applications from a range of organisations. Save a Selfie for example, is an interactive mobile app that allows members of the public to take selfies alongside emergency equipment to document its location, while CareBright village is Ireland’s first dementia friendly housing in a rural setting. We are now calling for applications for this year’s fund,’’ said Deirdre Mortell, CEO of SIFI.

“Building on the success of last year, we are also delighted to be able to expand Animate this year with the introduction of new Healthy Community Awards supported by Medtronic. We believe that local decision-making and philanthropy can benefit local communities but can also contribute significantly to global change. We want to support local communities to undertake projects that don’t just solve the health issues on their own doorstep, but that feed into a bigger solution to global health issues and inequalities.”

Speaking about the support of Animate, the development of the new Healthy Community Awards and the partnership with SIFI, Alma Curran, Ireland Philanthropy Lead at Medtronic said: “The development of the Healthy Community Awards is aligned with Medtronic’s vision of building healthy communities by expanding access to healthcare for underserved communities worldwide. Medtronic’s contribution to Animate supports work that aims to reduce health inequalities across Ireland.”

Ms. Curran added: “We encourage applicants to consider how their projects align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, Good Health and Wellbeing, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages. We hope to profile innovative Irish projects that aim to solve complex health access issues and emphasise Ireland’s leadership in tackling the SDGs.”

Successful projects will receive an award that is designed to help them to grow and develop their ideas into powerful community solutions. Eleven awardees will receive a cash award as well as invaluable non-financial supports such as access to expert mentoring and assistance with growth planning from a business consultant. They will also have access to SIFI’s extensive networks for on-going support and advice.

Applications to the Fund are encouraged from non-profit social organisations including charities, community groups and social enterprises.

Applicants can apply online for funding before the Friday 7th July 2017 deadline through Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s website http://www.socialinnovation.ie/open-for-applications