Business Irish

Tuesday 27 September 2016

€500k fund to boost manufacturing and agriculture start-ups

Published 10/09/2016 | 02:30

Minister for Enterprise Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Richard Fairman of FarmFlo, and Anne Lannigan of Enterprise Ireland at the launch of the fund
Minister for Enterprise Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Richard Fairman of FarmFlo, and Anne Lannigan of Enterprise Ireland at the launch of the fund

Enterprise Ireland yesterday launched a €500,000 Competitive Start Fund to support start-up activity in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

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The 10 successful candidates will receive €50,000 in equity funding to help achieve commercial and technical milestones that help towards delivering their product or service to an international audience.

This is the second year of the scheme which is open to individuals, early stage companies, or prospective businesses.

Entries are encouraged from the likes of machine design, fabrication, engineering, and life science products, but are not limited to those categories.

Submissions open from Wednesday September 21 and close on October 5.

Enterprise Ireland's high potential start-up manager Anne Lanigan said the fund is part of the State body's plans to increase the number of high value start-ups.

"Agri-engineering is worth €250m in exports to the Irish economy and this fund is seeking to encourage and support the next generation of engineering and manufacturing companies coming through in the agriculture sector.

"Applications to this year's fund will be considered on a competitive basis and we encourage ambitious individuals and start-ups to apply", Ms Lannigan said.

Enterprise Ireland will also be on hand at the National Ploughing Championships later this month to answer any questions about the fund.

Jobs Minister Mitchell O'Connor said the fund will provide a launch platform for young firms.

"A priority for the Government is to help Irish entrepreneurs grow their business, and this €500,000 fund will go towards supporting the next generation of Irish agri-businesses and manufacturers to compete in export markets, creating valuable jobs throughout Ireland," the minister said.

The new fund comes at the end of an active week for Enterprise Ireland. On Wednesday another start-up fund was launched by the agency aimed at companies using space technology.

The space fund was spearheaded by the European Space Agency and urges companies to apply in order to receive €50,000 in funding.

Meanwhile it was revealed on Thursday that Ms O'Connor would defy trade unions and recommend an increase of just 10c in the national wage.

The minister's small increase was likely influenced by the looming threat of Brexit. The increase stands to improve the pay of around 20,000 workers across the country.

Irish Independent

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