Country 'open for business' with €500m innovation fund
A €500M innovation fund to help medium-sized Irish hi-tech and green companies 'scale up' to become multinationals will be launched shortly.
The Irish Independent has learned that several foreign investors have told the Government that they are willing to invest matching resources in venture capital for fast growing Irish hi-tech companies.
The report of the Task Force on Innovation is in the final stages of preparation and the intention is to bring it to the Government shortly and release it in time for the key messages to be carried around the world on St Patrick's Day. Ministers will be told to get the message across that Ireland is 'open for business'.
The taskforce was set up to see how Ireland can increase levels of innovation and boost the commercial return from investment in research. It will put forward specific recommendations on venture funding for mid-size companies in both the hi-tech and green-tech areas to assist them to grow faster.
Much attention will be given to structures and links between institutions in the public and private sectors. Practical measures will be proposed to boost the TCD/UCD Innovation Alliance and similar initiatives -- today the University of Limerick and NUI Galway will formally announce a major collaboration between the two institutions.
It is also understood that the forthcoming report will stress the importance of PhD students becoming more familiar with the commercialisation prospects of their research, suggesting this should be built in to their studies.
The aim is to ensure that individuals have the skills required for the workplace, and in particular for the workplace outside higher education.