Enterprise Ireland has invested €4.5m in 11 biotech businesses as part of its technology commercialisation fund.
The technologies that will emerge will form the basis of new start-up companies or will be licensed into existing companies in Ireland.
The research projects funded range from the development of nanosensors for diagnosing cardiovascular disease to treatment of tumours in cancer patients and to the development of vaccines for fish diseases.
Three of the 11 projects are collaborations between research institutes.
Dr Paul Roben, director of Enterprise Ireland’s biotechnology commercialisation group said that the agency has invested €8.8m for industry-relevant biotechnology research this year.
“Enterprise Ireland’s portfolio in this area now represents an investment of over €30m,” Dr Roben explained. “Through supporting these projects we aim to ensure that Ireland is a competitive, knowledge-based economy capable of sustaining growth.”
Dr Roben continued: “We have expert commercialisation teams working across the academic-industry interface. As well as tailored investment packages we provide a range of expertise in intellectual property strategy, technology licensing, market analysis as well as networks and incubation space for emerging companies.”
The state agency said that a further round of projects will be funded before the end of the year. These projects are currently undergoing technical and commercial analyses.
In 2007, Enterprise Ireland proposes to have a rolling call for proposals, which will allow applications to be submitted and assessed throughout the year.
By John Kennedy