Govt pumps €21m into Enterprise Ireland fund to commercialise third-level research

25 Jun 2013

The Irish Government is to pump €21m into Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Fund to support the commercialisation of further third-level research in 2013. The goal of the funding is to speed up the development of innovative new products and services and increase the number of new technology-based start-ups spinning out of third-level institutes.

Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD, announced the funding this morning.

According to Bruton, Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Fund will be available to researchers in the third-level sector to commercialise ideas and inventions at all stages of development.

Spawning new Irish start-ups

The ultimate goal is that this research will help to spawn new start-ups and new industries – and ultimately, jobs.

Enterprise Ireland awards such commercialisation funding to projects that are addressing a gap or need in the market by developing innovations that will ideally be ready for licensing to Irish industry or may form the basis of a new start-up company in two to five years.

“Over the past decade, Ireland has built a system of research and innovation that ranks extremely well internationally – the challenge now at a time of jobs crisis is to put in place measures that will turn these achievements into economic growth and jobs,” said Bruton this morning.

“This fund will provide support for projects seeking to take innovations and develop them into commercial products and services that can sustain businesses and ultimately create jobs,” he said.

So far this year, Enterprise Ireland has funded 24 commercialisation projects valued at €5.3m across a wide range of areas, including ICT, life sciences, food, manufacturing, engineering and energy.

Capitalising on Ireland’s science and technology research

The Commercialisation Fund is a component of the Government’s research prioritisation policy and is one of a number of initiatives designed to deliver economic impact from the State’s investment in science and technology.

“The Commercialisation Fund is making a real difference in terms of business growth and competitiveness in Ireland,” said Gearoid Mooney, Enterprise Ireland’s director of ICT commercialisation.

Projects that Enterprise Ireland has funded so far this year range from a vaccine to protect against bacteria that affects cystic fibrosis patients to the development of a fuel cell power module which will turn hydrogen into electricity in a more cost-effective and sustainable way.

Enterprise Ireland is seeking applications from researchers to apply for the next cohort of the Commercialisation Fund. The closing date for applications is 28 August.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic