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Enterprise Ireland is the state agency responsible for supporting the development of manufacturing and internationally traded services companies. It provides funding and supports for companies - from entrepreneurs with business propositions for a high potential start-up through to large companies expanding their activities, improving efficiency and growing international sales. EI also provides funding and supports for college based researchers to assist in the development, protection and transfer of technologies into industry via licensing or spin-out companies. All this in view of accelerating the development of world-class Irish companies to achieve strong positions in global markets, resulting in increased national and regional prosperity.
Enterprise Ireland (EI) is responsible for a number of the innovation and research policy measures at BMW and S&E regional level. Main support programmes centre around innovation and R&D funding, collaboration between companies and research institutes, sourcing and licensing new technologies and accessing EU supports. Innovation and research measures under EI responsibility include: - Innovation Partnerships; - the Commercialisation Fund; - Clinical Innovation Fund, FP7 coordination and travel grants, Campus Incubation centres; - Innovation Voucher scheme; - micro-enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship supports; - Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiativeand the Technology Gateway Initiative (formerly the Applied Research Enhancement Centre Scheme).
The final year of EI three year strategy ‘Driving Enterprise, Delivering Jobs 2014-2016’ yielded outstanding results. Employment in Enterprise Ireland backed companies exceeded 200,000 – a figure that seemed a stretching target during the recent recession. Export sales by its clients increased by 6% on 2015 reaching the record high of €21.6bn with all sectors recording export growth. In addition to establishing a dedicated Brexit Unit in 2016, to strengthen clients’ resilience, Enterprise Ireland rolled out a range of client management development programmes and encouraged companies to focus on improving their competitiveness. EI brokered over 7,500 introductions between its clients and international buyers and rolled out a programme of 196 trade and knowledge building overseas visits. Between 2014-2016 EI clients have created 45,000 new jobs, breaking the target set within the strategy. At the end of 2016 there were 201,108 people employed in client companies, which support almost 375,000 jobs in direct and indirect employment all over Ireland.