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Friday 24 November 2017

Taoiseach holds talks with Finnish premier on economy

The use of innovation as an engine for growth and jobs was the focus of bilateral talks between Taoiseach Brian Cowen and his Finnish counterpart today.

Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi travelled to Ireland for discussions on trade, the economy and EU matters.

The pair also addressed a major conference in Dublin Castle, entitled Overcoming Recession Through Innovation: Combining Irish And Finnish Strengths.

It was Mrs Kiviniemi's first visit to Dublin since she took office in June.

Mr Cowen earlier announced a €30m investment in two new venture capital firms in Dublin.

The National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) committed the cash to support the Innovation Fund Ireland, a Government initiative launched in Wall Street last July to attract leading international venture capital fund managers to Ireland.

Mr Cowen said the investments are an important milestone in achieving the Government's vision of Ireland as a Global Innovation Hub.

"The objective of the fund is not just to increase the availability of capital, but also to transform the market by attracting top tier fund managers, making advice, expertise and international networks available to help the establishment and scaling of firms, thereby promoting employment creation and productivity growth," the Taoiseach added.

Leading pan-European venture capital firm, DFJ Esprit Fund III, secured 20 million euro. It has backed companies such as Lovefilm, and Imagine in Ireland.

Elsewhere, DFJ Fund X got 10 million euro. It is said to be leading global investor in emerging technologies and has backed companies such as Skype and Tesla Motors.

Simon Cook, of DFJ Esprit, said the firm has had good success in the Irish market to date.

"Looking forward, we clearly see the huge potential of the country's technology companies," said Mr Cook.

Press Association

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