€55m for innovation and high-growth business

FIVE major initiatives costing €55 million have been launched, aimed at supporting innovation and high-growth business.

The announcement by Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton includes the first centre in cloud computing which, it is hoped, will make Ireland a world leader in the sector.

The announcements were made as part of a speech to the Irish Internet Association’s annual conference.

The announcements include:

* A €5m applied research centre in cloud computing.

* A €6m research centre in energy/smartgrid

* €44m in funding for Principal Investigator research teams in life sciences, ICT and energy.

* Funding and supports for 25% more high-growth and high-potential start-up companies.

Mr Bruton said he hoped the new initiatives would help promote strong businesses and lead to jobs.

“Today’s announcement represents a series of initiatives aimed at addressing the commercialisation gap, to ensure that good ideas can become great businesses which create jobs.

“In my statement on Tuesday’s jobs initiative I said, as I have been arguing for some time now, that if we are going to grow the economy and create jobs we have to focus on three things: reducing costs to business, improving access to finance, and encouraging research, developing and innovation.”

He welcomed the change to the R&D tax credit regime that makes it more attractive for multinationals to employ researchers and locate R&D facilities here.

According to a recent report by Microsoft, Ireland’s cloud computing industry could be worth €9.5 billion per annum and employ 8,600 people by 2014.

“The new applied research centre announced today, which will connect both multinationals and Irish enterprises with researchers, can see Ireland take the lead in this crucial high growth area,” said Mr Bruton.


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