Press Release 24 Sep 2010

Thursday September 23rd 2010

Expressions of interest sought from global venture capitalists under Innovation Fund Ireland

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O'Keeffe TD, today [Thursday] launched a bid to draw top investors to Ireland under a €500 million fund to support enterprise and create jobs.

The first call for expressions of interest in Innovation Fund Ireland is the latest step in the Government's plan to generate high-quality jobs in the 'smart' economy.

Innovation Fund Ireland aims to attract global venture capital firms and experienced investment managers to Ireland to invest in innovative small and medium-sized firms and open doors to powerful networks of contacts.

Top global players such as Google and Facebook initially relied on venture financing to scale and become multinational firms.

The Government's indigenous job creation agency, Enterprise Ireland, and the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF) manage Innovation Fund Ireland and investors have until November 26 to signal their interest in establishing a presence in Ireland.

Minister O'Keeffe said he expected a strong response from the international investor community.

'Innovation Fund Ireland will help to transform our investor environment by establishing top-tier international venture capital funds and networks.

'Investors will partner with the Government in backing high-potential firms with collateral to help them grow into major employers,' said Minister O'Keeffe.

The Government is driving the creation of new sustainable jobs as Ireland's economy recovers.

To do that, we need an indigenous sector supported by innovative and ambitious global venture capitalists who can help to provide collateral to scalable firms that might otherwise not get off the ground.

'Innovation Fund Ireland brings a new dimension to our existing venture capital sector which has already contributed significantly to start-up and expanding firms.

'It builds on the Government's investment so far in Irish venture capital funds and Enterprise Ireland's direct investments in high-potential start-up and scaling firms,' said Minister O'Keeffe.

For further information see
www.innovationfundireland.com

Innovation Fund Ireland, announced by the Taoiseach in July, is managed by Enterprise Ireland and the NPRF. Public advertisements on this first call are being placed this week in international media. Investment decisions will be taken by the boards of Enterprise Ireland and the NPRF, as appropriate. Innovation Fund Ireland's advisory board is chaired by Damien Callaghan of Intel Capital who served on the Innovation Taskforce. The advisory board is not responsible for investment decisions.
 
For information on progress on the 'smart' economy see
www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/Building_Ireland's_Smart_Economy

For information on the Innovation Taskforce recommendations see
www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/Innovation_Taskforce
 
Bernard Mallee
Special Adviser on Press and Communications


Minister Batt O'Keeffe TD
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation
Kildare St
Dublin 2

Tel: +353 1 631 3944
Fax: +353 1 631 2828  
Mobile: +353 87 9173022
Email: bernard.mallee@deti.ie
 
Alan Hobbs, Head of Corporate Communications
Enterprise Ireland

+353 1 7272904
+353 86 869 9703


 

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