A new €80m fund to commercialise research carried out in Ireland’s third-level institutions has been launched by tech fund Atlantic Bridge.
The second round of the University Bridge Fund will focus on deep-technology companies including sectors such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, quantum and health tech.
Existing investors, the European Investment Fund, Enterprise Ireland, AIB, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin have been joined by University College Cork with the first and second funds having the potential to attract up to half a billion euros in co-investment.
The first round of the University Fund, launched in 2016 supported more than 30 new companies including medical tech companies Neurent Medical and CroíValve along with pioneering drone delivery firm Manna and bee monitoring firm ApisProtect.
Enterprise Ireland is investing €20m as part of its strategic aim of commercialising Irish third level research into globally scalable businesses which have the potential to create over 1,000 jobs.
UCC has already seen approximately 35 new companies spun out from the research projects and supported 110 start-up firms. Prof John Cryan VP Research and Innovation UCC said the new fund will allow them to scale the university's advanced science and innovation programmes.
Interim President UCC, Prof John O’Halloran said: "UCC is at the forefront of cutting-edge research and innovation and has a strong track record for creating spinout companies with global potential and sustainable impact. By prioritising innovation today, this fund will help more researchers to get viable new businesses off the ground ensuring strong investment in Cork and surrounding regions’’