Who We Are

Department Structure

The Department is organised into seven Divisions which broadly reflect distinct functional units but there is also a substantial degree of co-operation and interaction between Divisions.

Innovation and Investment Division

Assistant Secretary: Dermot Mulligan

The Innovation and Investment Division carries policy and delivery management responsibility for enterprise, innovation, research and development, intellectual property and North/South activities delivered through multiple agencies as set out below.

The Division has responsibility for:

  • Developing and promoting innovation, research and development policy, leading cross Governmental coordination with particular emphasis on implementing Innovation 2020, the cross Governmental strategy for research and development, science and technology.
  • Contributing to the delivery of effective foreign direct investment (FDI) policy in Ireland by working with the IDA and other Government Departments to ensure the Agency’s strategies are implemented as effectively and efficiently as possible.
  • A very significant part of Enterprise Ireland’s mandate, namely, research and innovation supports for enterprise, connecting enterprise to academic research, commercialisation of research from Higher Education Institutes and High Potential Start-Up companies. These supports are aimed at driving exports and creating jobs.
  • Science Foundation Ireland and its mandate to support excellent research in areas impacting the competitiveness of enterprise. The Division also has responsibility for the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions administered by the HEA.
  • North/South issues and InterTrade Ireland, involving responsibilities for enterprise, innovation and research at all-island level.
  • Intellectual Property policy and administration, to ensure Ireland delivers a world class IP management service. This mandate includes the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland in Kilkenny
  • Leading at EU level for all Departments on research and innovation including Horizon 2020/FP 9.

Indigenous Enterprise, SMEs and Entrepreneurship Division

Assistant Secretary: Declan Hughes

The overall goal of the Indigenous Enterprise, SMEs and Entrepreneurship Division is to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure that appropriate supports are in place to promote and develop entrepreneurship, to help businesses to start, scale and export, to prepare for brexit and to work with stakeholders across the wider system to ensure a supportive business environment (for example, tax policy, skills availability; etc.)

The Division operates a suite of policies and supports designed to assist and facilitate businesses at all stages of development and growth, from nascent and early stage entrepreneurs to companies of scale trading internationally.

This includes direct interventions such as the provision of Microfinance and Loan Guarantees, as well as working with the Division’s Agencies, Enterprise Ireland, the Local Enterprise Offices and the National Standards Authority of Ireland together with support for the Design and Crafts Council to ensure their supports are relevant and aligned to the evolving needs of business.

Workplace Regulation and Economic Migration Division

Assistant Secretary: Clare Dunne

The role of the Workplace Regulation and Economic Migration Division is to work at national and international level to ensure employment rights are respected:

  • that our policy, legislative and institutional framework promotes harmonious industrial relations;
  • that any disputes or breaches are handled efficiently and effectively;
  • that a skills based economic migration policy is efficiently implemented.

Commerce, Consumer and Competition Division

Assistant Secretary: John Newham

The Commerce, Consumer and Competition Division is the policy arm of the Department for developing a legal framework to deliver a fair and efficient market in which Irish commerce prospers and consumers are protected.

The Division is concerned with delivering an environment for business in which there is fair competition; dynamism and productivity flourishes; and in which there is consumer and investor confidence. Our regulatory regime is intended to ensure that business is conducted with probity and integrity but without undue administrative burdens and that the rights of investors, consumers and creditors are protected, transparent and enforced. 

In relation to Internal Audit, the Division aims to ensure that the highest standards of internal corporate governance is promoted through the work of the Department's internal audit function.

EU Affairs, Trade Policy and Licensing Division

Assistant Secretary: Philip Kelly

The EU Affairs, Trade Policy and Licensing Division defines, coordinates and develops our position on EU policy matters and our relationship with EU Institutions.

It is responsible for the identification, formulation and development of Ireland’s international trade policies, including at European Union trade policy negotiations and through active participation in the World Trade Organisation, as well as coordination of a coherent policy response to Brexit across the Department. The Division is also responsible for export licensing.

Enterprise Strategy, Competitiveness and Evaluation Division

Assistant Secretary: David Hegarty

The Enterprise Strategy, Competitiveness and Evaluation Division works with other divisions in the Department and with other Government Departments with the aim of ensuring that policy supports a strong, competitive enterprise sector.

The Division provides evidence-based support to the work of the Department and works across government to enhance the business environment in areas such as skills, taxation, essential infrastructures, competitiveness and productivity. The enterprise, innovation and science surveys provide a key element of the policy research capability.

With the Department of An Taoiseach, the Division leads on the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland initiative. Future Jobs is a multi-year framework focused on key economic challenges including increasing SME productivity and raising labour market participation. It is also about positioning our economy and society to deal with the challenges of digitalisation and the transition to a low carbon economy.

The Enterprise Strategy, Competitiveness and Evaluation Division supports the work of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN). Both the NCC and EGFSN publish their advice and reports on their respective websites.

Corporate Services Division

Assistant Secretary: Pauline Mulligan

The overall objective of the Corporate Services Division is to provide efficient and effective support to allow the wider Department to deliver on our broader strategic business goals responding and adapting to changing internal and external challenges. The Division consists of six Business Units across Human Resources, Management Supports (including Customer Services and FOI), Communications, Finance, ICT and Business Services.

The Division has a number of objectives including:

  • To lead and manage our HR Function and deliver our Connected HR Strategy, workforce planning and learning and development;
  • To ensure that the Department has sufficient capability and capacity to deliver on its overall vision and goals including through delivery of an Organisation Capability Review;
  • To support our staff through wellbeing initiatives and flexible working options, to ensure a healthy work life balance for all;
  • To fully participate in public service reform and Civil Service Renewal including through a number of in-house initiatives under the umbrella of our New Ways of Working initiative;
  • To manage and deliver effective and efficient Information, Communication & Technological services and supports necessary to enable business units deliver on their core objective;
  • To continue to seek efficiencies and improved customer service including through continuous focus on digital opportunities;
  • To manage our vote and oversee our financial systems including the estimates process and capital and current funding reviews;
  • To demonstrate excellence in corporate governance which will provide openness and transparency and ensure value for money;
  • To coordinate a Department position on relevant matters and ensure compliance with a range of statutory obligations such as FOI, Official Languages, Protected Disclosures;
  • To support Minister’s and colleagues in promoting the work of the Department externally and ensuring strong internal communications;
  • To direct and implement the Department’s policies on accommodation, procurement and health & safety.

Further information on the allocation of management responsibilities can be found on whodoeswhat.gov.ie > DBEI

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