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5 major initiatives, aimed at supporting innovation and high growth businesses have been announced today by he Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD. Each inititiative is discussed below.

Cloud Computing

€5m is to be allocated to the establishment of an applied research centre in cloud computing, regarded as a “crucial high growth area” according to the Minister, it has the potential to be worth €9.5bn to the economy and employ 8,600 people by 2014 as reported recently by Microsoft.

Smart Grid

€6m is to be devoted to the setting up of an energy/smart grid research centre which will be funded through Science Foundation Ireland under its Strategic Research Clusters programme will also partner with industries involved in developing the smart grid. It will be hosted by UCD. 40 research personnel will be hired by the centre.

Research Teams

€44m over 5 years is set to be designated to Principal Investigator research teams in life sciences, ICT and energy. 44 Science Foundation Ireland funded Principal Investigator (PI) Awards will support close to 300 top-class researcher positions in these areas. The research projects have also attracted numerous partners including Inercept Pharma Ltd., Pevion Biotech Ltd and Sigmoid Pharma (Ireland).

Start-up funding

A competitive fund of €750,000 is to be allocated, in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland, to start up companies in the internet and gaming sector. This will be rolled out in Cleantech, Industrial and Life-sciences sectors. Companies will each receive a €50,000 equity investment and will also

be provided with a mentor who will work with the company for a period of about 10 days.

High Potential Start Up programme

Resources will also be increased for Enterprise Irelands High Potential Start Up programme. It is hoped through this by 2014,100 start up companies  will be created each year compared to 80 in 2010.