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Ireland — Prime Minister launches 500 million Euro Innovation Fund

13 July 2010

Taoiseach Brian Cowen (Prime Minister) was at the New York Stock Exchange yesterday where he launched 'Innovation Fund Ireland', a 500 million Euro fund to support enterprise development and job creation. The Taoiseach stated that the Fund is "a key pillar of the Government's Smart Economy strategy".

Cowen said "the Ireland of the future will be a smart, high-value, export-led economy. It will have some of the world's leading research-intensive multinationals, a number of which will be Irish-owned. It will be a centre for advanced manufacturing. It will have thousands of innovative small and medium enterprises. These companies will be creating the products and services of tomorrow for a world market."

"To position Ireland as a Global Innovation Hub, we must make Ireland: the best place in Europe to turn research and knowledge into products and services, the best place in Europe to start and grow an innovative company, the best place to relocate or expand and scale a small or medium-sized company and the best place in Europe for research-intensive multinationals to collaborate with each other and with clusters of small companies."

The Innovation Taskforce has estimated that in the order of 120,000 new jobs could be created by 2020 by following this strategy.

Cowen said "venture capital is an essential ingredient for supporting entrepreneurs and ensuring that businesses can scale and create jobs. Lack of finance consistently emerges as a key impediment for innovative firms. Many successful companies that are now household names, like Google, Facebook and Staples, relied on venture financing to achieve the scale necessary to become multinational companies and provide large numbers of jobs. We must provide the right environment for such companies to develop in Ireland."

Innovation Fund Ireland will result in the establishment of the European operations of a number of leading or 'top quartile' international VC Fund managers in Ireland. It is a key pillar in the Government's strategy to make Ireland one of the most attractive places for entrepreneurial activity and job creation.



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