European Commission - Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

For a better experience, please enable Javascript.

Commercialisation Fund (CF)

Title of measure
Full title in national language:
Commercialisation Fund (CF)
2014 to 2020
Policy objectives Plus
1.2. Competitive funding of research
4.3. Fostering start-ups and gazelles
6.3. Pre-commercial procurement of innovation
Presentation of the measure:

Open to researchers in higher education institutions and public research organisations the Commercialisation Fund, re-designed over time, aims to convert the outputs of public funded research into innovative new products, services and companies. The objective is to foster a dynamic and commercially aware research community and create an environment that promotes entrepreneurship. The funding supports academic researchers to take research outputs with commercial potential and bring them to a point where they can either be transferred into industry or spun out into a new start-up company. 

Researchers, in partnership with their Technology Transfer Office (or equivalent office), can apply for a CFF to: perform market analysis and validation, profile the competitor landscape, perform patent landscaping and develop the IP strategy, investigate potential routes to exploitation to the economic benefit of Ireland, understand relevant regulatory issues or other barriers/hurdles to commercialisation and create a small demonstration or early prototype. CF funding is available for projects that address a gap or need in the market by developing innovations that can be commercialised in Ireland, will be licensable ideally within 2-5 years and can lead to the establishment of a start-up company.

​The expected impact of the programme can be summarised as follow:

  • Increased development and applied research in the BMW region through increasing the number of companies engaged with strategic research centres from a baseline of 103 to a target of 159;
  • To increase the number of companies undertaking industry research and development (R&D) in the BMW region by supporting a commercialisation fund, an innovation partnership programme and an industry R&D fund with the objective of increasing the number of SME clients of 'Enterprise Ireland' spending over €100,000 per annum from a baseline of 185 to a target of 220;
  • Creating 583 new jobs in the micro-enterprise sector in the BMW region;
  • Creating 4,500 jobs among SME clients of 'Enterprise Ireland';
  • To increase the provision of fibre optic links to all unserved towns and villages in the BMW region by providing 583 settlements with next generation broadband;
  • To improve the thermal performance of housing stock in the BMW Region from 210 kWh per BRm2/year to 185 kWh per BRm2/year;
  • Revitalised urban areas and low-carbon strategies improving social, economic and physical conditions in selected urban growth centres with the objective of increasing by 20 % points non‑private car commuting levels in designated urban centres.

Total OP budget is of 321,417,842.00 € of which the total EU contribution 160,708,921.00 €

Budget, source and type of funding
National public funds
Regional public funds
EU Structural funds
Private funds
Form of funding provided
Policy learning
To what extent the measure can be considered as a success and worthy of policy learning?:
There is evidence of an impact of the measure based on verifiable indicators or an evaluation (e.g. sales generated from new products, jobs created, etc.)
Evidence of outcomes based on evaluation and other evidence:

The advances made on strategic actions in the period July 2016 and June 2017 have seen, in total, 45 new actions  initiated, 12 actions  completed and 72 actions are continuing to progress.  In the year mentioned above, there have been three meetings of the Innovation 2020 Implementation Group covering a variety of topics such as the impact of Brexit on the research community, gender equality, research prioritisation, Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) funding, societal impacts and open science. 
The key Innovation 2020 commitment to increasing public and private investment in research is making progress. Since the publication of the strategy in 2015, direct Exchequer funding of RDI has increased from €736m in 2015 to an estimated €761m in 2016.


What are the most important “Do’s and Don’ts” that regional stakeholders should be aware of when launching a similar measure?:
  • Some of the lessons learned over the years and responses that have impacted on success are: existence of weak technology transfer in HEIs (thus the Technology Transfer Strengthening initiative was introduced); academic led versus industry led research agenda (thus introduced the industry led research programme); difficulty bridging the gap from laboratory to market (introduced the CFF and business partners programmes, and revised CF); administrative burden vs. commercialisation activity (undertook internal Enterprise Ireland reorganisation); and under-performing/non-performing projects (introduced a new system to cancel projects and divert funding).
  • Be prepared to re-design the measure over time: be flexible and adaptable to needs and introduce new sub-measures if necessary (focus on “what works”).
  • Focus on industrial needs, responding to the market and aligning research with industry requirements.
Would you recommend this measure as an example of regional good practice to policy-makers from other regions ?:
Organisation(s) responsible
Evaluation report(s)