Budget 2012 – Enterprise given €514m to focus on jobs

5 Dec 2011

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton

The Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation – which oversees the activities of a plethora of bodies like IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland – has said that current spending of €366m will be maintained but that capital spending will reach a high of €514m and over two years will total €1bn in enterprise supports.

At €880m, the department’s overall budget will be marginally down.

The Enterprise Ireland will see a 4pc increase in its capital budget while IDA Ireland’s capital budget will be maintained, as will the County Enterprise Boards’ budget.

There will be a 10pc increase in the number of high-potential start-ups (HPSUs) supported, while €18m will go into Innovation Fund Ireland to help improve the Irish venture capital industry.

The State will commence investment in new technologies centres focused on cloud computing, e-learning and financial services.

There will be a 20pc increase in the number of innovation partnerships and employers are to see the arrival of the Partial Loan Guarantee Scheme and Micro Finance Loan Fund.

The State will support Ireland’s Science Foundation Ireland research community of 3,000 researchers, including research teams working with more than 500 industry partners.

The Programme for Research in Third Level (PRTLI) will be maintained while the number of Technology Innovation Development Awards will be doubled to 200.

“This Government is determined that, alongside the very painful budgetary decisions we have to make, we must implement our plan for economic recovery and job creation,” Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said.

“As the Taoiseach said last night, jobs are the top priority for this Government and are at the centre of our four-year strategy.

“That is why, at a time of declining resources, the Enterprise budget is being broadly protected. Of course my department, like all others, will find savings across its current expenditure, including in administration and pay budgets.

“However, crucially, as previously announced, capital spending on job-creating programmes will be increased in 2012. This will mean that my department and its agencies will be able to continue current levels of spending on job creation, as well as increasing the scope of some crucial programmes and implementing some new measures,” Bruton said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years