English and Bruton announce €28 Million Science Foundation Ireland investment in research

Research and Innovation, Science
Investment by the Dept of Jobs through Science Foundation Ireland Supports Ireland’s Expanding Collaborations and Partnerships with Industry and Academia Internationally   

Research Infrastructure for 21 Projects Supports Progression of Exemplary Irish Science in areas including Manufacturing, Big Data, Wireless Technology & Networks, Natural Resources & Hazards, Internet of Things, Marine Renewable Energy and Animal & Human Health.

Ministers English and Bruton Announce Further Commitment to Irish Science & Innovation through Science Foundation Ireland Infrastructure Awards, supporting the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs and its recently announced Science Strategy, Innovation 2020     
 
Birr Castle, Offaly, IRELAND – 12 January 2016
  – The Minister for Jobs, Richard Burton, TD together with the Minister for Research, Innovation and Skills, Damien English, TD today announced details of a €28 million investment in research equipment and facilities through Science Foundation Ireland. A total of 21 exemplary research projects will be supported in sectors including applied geo-sciences, pharmaceutical manufacturing, bio-banking, marine renewable energy, internet of things, astronomy, big data and additive manufacturing using nano-materials.


This infrastructure funding was awarded competitively following rigorous international review to research groups where the research equipment and facilities are required to address major research opportunities and challenges; including partnerships with industry and /or international funders.  This new infrastructure will ensure that Irish researchers continue to be internationally competitive, with access to modern equipment and facilities which will enable them to be successful in securing future funding from leading companies and Europe, including Horizon 2020.  


This investment is made by the Department of Jobs through Science Foundation Ireland.
The 21 infrastructure projects funded were in a range of strategically important sectors as follows: 

Animal & Human Health: Human motion analysis system to facilitate the development of personal sensing connected health technologies for patients and athletes; an early life lab to monitor how the brain grows, develops and repairs in young children; a biobank of 4 million samples to facilitate the discovery and development of new treatments in personalised medicine and nutrition to improve outcomes for mothers and babies; a human performance sensing suite to discover and develop new therapeutic strategies for metabolic and neuromuscular disease; animal and pathogen genomics analysis system to support emergent agri-food research areas such as next generation biomarkers, multiplex diagnostics, and genomic selection breeding programmes;

Big Data Analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and Networks:
 Low Frequency Array (I-LOFAR) gathering radio images of astronomical objects using advanced image processing and data analytics techniques; a new Ireland-wide wireless network testbed to support new IoT concepts, business models and devices to be developed and tested; a radio testbed for the development and testing of new radio technologies for IoT;  a 400+ Gigabit-per-second communications testbed to enable the development of the next generation core network and datacentre technologies;

Manufacturing:
 additive manufacturing nanomaterial infrastructure for the development of innovative printable materials such as 3D hip and knee implants; a state-of-the-art advanced analysis facility, allowing real-time direct observation of pharmaceutical process reactions as they occur thus supporting drug manufacturing; a crystallization, isolation and drying technology testbed for pharmaceutical manufacturing; splutter disposition tool capable of growing complex, device-quality stacks of metal and oxide thin films for applications such as integrated photonics; infrastructure to support the packaging and assembly of a wide range of miniaturised photonic devices used in data-communications, sensing and point-of-care medical diagnostics.

Natural Resources & Hazards:
 sensing/early-warning system for offshore earthquake and offshore storms, including the quantification of offshore natural resources; electron microscope to determine the microscopic composition of rocks to identify valuable minerals; state of the art X-ray CT scanner to enable the analysis of botanical, geophysical and natural resources; an atmospheric chamber to enable innovative studies on air pollution and climate change.

Marine:
 an Open Ocean Emulator to accurately replicate real ocean wave conditions in a laboratory setting to accelerate growth of the offshore renewable energy industry in Ireland; a remotely operated vehicle to enable the deployment, repair and maintenance of wave and tidal energy devices in the challenging off shore conditions. Speaking at the announcement in Birr, Co Offaly, Minister Bruton said: “At the heart of our Action Plan for jobs is driving employment growth in every region of the country. We have now put in place individual jobs plans for 7 out of the 8 regions in the country, and what has repeatedly become clear is that research and innovation must be accelerated right across the country if we are to deliver the jobs growth we need. Today’s announcement by Science Foundation Ireland is an important part of this.  By investing in world-class R&D infrastructure, both at a regional and national level, this will ensure that we can compete at the highest levels internationally and continue to turn more good ideas into good jobs”.

Commenting on today’s announcements, Minister English said “Today’s investment will advance the implementation of the government’s new science strategy – Innovation 2020. The 21 projects will enable globally compelling research to be undertaken across the country; facilitating greater industry and international collaboration; supporting the training of researchers and demonstrating to an international audience that Ireland on an all island basis, is business friendly and bullish in its pursuit of, and participation in, excellent research.”

 Prof. Mark Ferguson, Director General Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, added, “Ireland is increasingly becoming the location of choice for multinational companies to develop and test tomorrow’s technologies and this investment demonstrates our commitment and expanded ability to engage, discover and collaborate at all levels.  Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to support and drive Ireland’s science strategy, Innovation 2020, with the addition of key infrastructure to propel important research projects. Ultimately, this is about providing Irish researchers in strategic areas with the tools to be world leading.”

 

English launches Mid East Action Plan for Jobs to help create 25,000 more jobs in Meath, Kildare and Wicklow

Action Plan for Jobs, Business, Jobs, Meath, Research and Innovation, Skills, Startups, Wesmeath

Fine Gael TD for Meath West and Minister of State at the Department of
Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Damien English has jointly launched
the Action Plan for Jobs for the Mid East region today in Navan.
Minister English, who was joined by the Minister for Jobs, Richard
Bruton TD said that the plan will help create 25,000 more jobs in
Meath, Kildare and Wicklow.

Minister English welcomed the particular focus in this plan that
supports the progression of the Boyne Valley Food Hub in Meath by
Meath Enterprise, Meath County Council and the Institute of
Technologies.  This will serve to enhance the region’s capacity for
food innovation, research and supporting food related industry

“The Mid East Action Plan for Jobs will seek to build on the existing
strengths and assets of each region to maximise enterprise growth and
job creation. The plan also includes investigating the feasibility of
establishing a ‘Foundation for Entrepreneurship’ in County Meath in
collaboration with relevant stakeholders. This would be a very welcome
development for the locality with respect to developing the
entrepreneurship environment here.

“This Government is committed to keeping the recovery going and to
ensuring that it spreads throughout the country. Based on the success
nationally of the Action Plan for Jobs, and the strong buy in to this
process by locally based stakeholders, it is realistic to target
25,000 additional jobs in Meath, Kildare and Wicklow by 2020.

“This means 25,000 extra pay packets coming into communities and
25,000 individuals and families who can afford to lead better lives.
The aim of the national Action Plan for Jobs is to help enterprises to
create employment in all regions of the country. Over 135,000 jobs
have been added to the economy since its launch in February 2012.

“Meath and the Mid East region, with its young and growing population,
highly educated and professionally experienced workforce has the
potential to be one of the fastest growing economic regions in the
country.  Its people and its proximity to Dublin gives the region an
opportunity to offer a world class location which has all of the
advantages of a capital city but with the added advantage of a
significantly lower cost base.

“The key challenge for us in Meath and the Mid East region is to
create additional jobs within the region so that more people who live
in the region can work here.

“Fine Gael has a clear plan to keep the recovery going. More people in
work creates the resources to cut taxes for working people and invest
in better services, improving living standards for all. This will
ensure more people feel the benefits of a recovering economy in their
own lives. The next election will be a choice between those with a
plan to keep the recovery going, or those who will put it at risk
through instability and chaos.

“The Government has committed up to €250 million in funding over the
next five years to support the Regional Action Plans.  I am confident
that the mid east regional Action Plan for Jobs will deliver for Co.
Meath.”

Minister English comments on Dept. of Enterprise Budget 2016

Action Plan for Jobs, Business, I.T., Jobs, Research and Innovation, Startups

Budget 2016 “hits the bullseye for startups, entrepreneurs and jobs”, as it incentivises innovative startups, rewards successful entrepreneurs and makes sure that the jobs that are created will really pay, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD said today. He was joined at a post Budget Press Conference by Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English T.D.

Minister English said: “Ireland’s future economic growth and prosperity will depend in very large measure on our continued investment in science technology and innovation. This investment is all about developing a competitive knowledge based economy and society, driving innovation in enterprise, building human capital and maximising the return on R&D investment for economic and social progress. Over the past number of years Ireland has built up a strong science base which has yielded results in terms of economic and societal impact. In Budget 2016 the Government is building on this success by prioritising the funding available for research, development and innovation. It also aims to maximise the impact of this investment on jobs and on the economy. A new science and innovation strategy under development will provide the roadmap for the next phase of Government investment”.

Among the new pro-jobs taxation measures announced today are:

  • Reduced Capital Gains Tax rate of 20% for successful entrepreneurs
  • Reductions in the USC affecting middle-income workers and creating jobs
  • Income tax credit of €550 for self-employed people, with improvements in future years
  • Knowledge Development Box – globally ‘best in class’ and first OECD-compliant scheme,competitive rate of 6.25% on qualifying income, benefits for SMEs, in place from 1st Jan 2016
  • Extension of tax relief for start-up companies
  • Employment and Investment Incentive scheme to increase availability of investment finance for business – extension of scheme to include all geographical locations, and increase thresholds

Minister English officially welcomes Regional Action Plan for Jobs Forum to Navan

Action Plan for Jobs, Business, Farming, Funding, Meath, Navan, Research and Innovation, Skills, Speeches, Startups, Tourism
Minister English, Minister Bruton and Tom Hayes Enterprise Ireland Divisional Manager Regions and Micro Enterprises at the Mid East APJ Stakeholder Forum held in the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan

Minister English, Minister Bruton and Tom Hayes Enterprise Ireland Divisional Manager Regions and Micro Enterprises at the Mid East APJ Stakeholder Forum held in the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan

This morning the Ardboyne Hotel in Navan plays host to the Action Plan for Jobs Mid East Stakeholder Forum which will help to formulate and develop a Regional Action Plan to build on the existing strengths and opportunities within the Meath, Kildare and Wicklow Region. Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation was on hand to officially welcome business people, policy makers and fellow politicians to his hometown.

“Meath is linked with the Dublin Region but we are also a County of many unique strengths and talents in our own right. We are ideally located to interact and engage not just with Dublin, but with a number of other regions particularly the Border, Midlands and South East” Minister English told the gathering this morning.

“This Mid East region including Meath now has an unemployment rate of 8.7% which is second only to Dublin amongst all the regions and well below the national figure of 9.8%. This represents a very significant achievement when one considers that in 2012, when the Action Plan for jobs was first launched, the unemployment rate for the region stood at close to 14%. However we need to continue to build on this progress” Minister English said.

“Meath’s connectivity with all regions represents a particular strength that we should seek to build upon. We have a strong diversified enterprise mix with a range of outstanding forward thinking companies and businesses operating across a range of different sectors. Meath Enterprise and Meath County Council’s vision of a Boyne Valley Food Hub as a centre of national and internationally innovation excellence in food is another example of the forward thinking vision of Meath people, which was again highlighted today” Minister English said.

We have a large highly skilled and well-educated workforce. We have a strong ETB aligned to local needs, and a new stand alone Dunboyne Post Leaving Cert. College, with good access to a wide variety of other Higher Education Institutes in surrounding regions. We also have wonderful cultural, heritage and tourist assets that are world-renowned. These are just some of the assets and strengths we possess in the region and no doubt more will be identified during the course of this morning’s Forum. The challenge today is to identify how we can capitalise on all of these strengths. But it is a challenge I know the local business community, local educators and local policy makers are well able for” stated the local Minister.

“Nationally, in the forthcoming Budget, and in future Budgets, and also through the new Capital plan 2016-2021 we will be supporting and rewarding work and enterprise through reducing the burden of tax and reforming our public spending so it best serves the consumer” concluded Minister English.

Over €3billion for capital investment in enterprise and job-creation over lifetime of capital plan

Business, Funding, I.T., Jobs, Research and Innovation, Science, Skills, Startups

Investment will allow full delivery of comprehensive regional jobs plans

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Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD together with along with the Minister of State for Business & Employment Ged Nash TD and the Minister of State for Research, Innovation and Skills Damien English TD today welcomed the publication of the capital plan, and announced the provision of a total of over €3billion in capital investment in projects under the remit of their Department over the period 2016-2021.

Minister English said: “The Government’s Capital programme is an investment in future proofing the economy and building a sustainable recovery not only for business but for the Irish people. The plan will underpin our economic and social development for the years to come. This Government has protected investment in research and innovation throughout its term and we have a strong base now on which to build.  Our forthcoming science, technology and innovation strategy will set the policy direction for the next phase of our investment and will complement the investment in physical infrastructure being announced today”.

The plan published today allocates a total of €3.01billion to capital projects under the Department of Jobs, and represents an average annual increase of €20.6million on his Department’s allocation for 2014 – a year when the agencies under his Department delivered a record 19,500 extra jobs. When the arrangement on own resource income is taken into account the annual figure will be significantly higher again.

Minister Bruton will outline the full breakdown of the Department’s capital programme for 2016 on Budget Day. He stressed today that the allocations announced today will allow his Department and its agencies to continue to deliver the programmes of activities which have support record levels of job-creation and exports over recent years, as well as the comprehensive programme of regional jobs plans commenced earlier this year. These plans outlined a total investment of €250million in IDA business parks, advance facilities, and Enterprise Ireland regional funds.

Minister Bruton said: “Over the past three years, employment in companies supported by my Department has risen by well over 40,000 – meaning that almost half of the total increase in employment over that time has been accounted for directly by companies supported by my Department. Those companies have also delivered record exports over that time. Today’s capital plan is about building on that record and bringing it to the next level – accelerating jobs growth in every region of the country, and delivering our aim of sustainable full employment.

“The allocation announced for our Department is a significant increase on the figures which have allowed us to deliver those record results. It will not mean that we will abandon the prudence and the smart use of resources that we have shown over the past four years. However it will allow us to plan for the future, secure the recovery and deliver the job-creation that will make possible everything else that we as a Government want to do over the coming years”.

Minister Nash said: “Job creation remains our number one priority in this Department and the capital programme we are announcing today will ensure that our agencies, the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices have the funding they need to build on the record levels of job creation we have all worked so hard to achieve in recent years.  My focus is also firmly on ensuring that the jobs these agencies are helping to create are decent sustainable jobs which enable all workers to have a decent standard of living.”

New plan to create 93,000 extra jobs from start-ups over the next five years

Business, Startups

Minister Bruton – we have many great entrepreneurs in Ireland, we just don’t have enough of them

Minister of State Ged Nash, Minister Richard Bruton, Lolly Strahan of Lolly & Cooks and Minister of State Damien English at the launch in the Liffey Trust Centre, 9th October 2014

Minister of State Ged Nash, Minister Richard Bruton, Lolly Strahan of Lolly & Cooks and Minister of State Damien English at the launch in the Liffey Trust Centre, 9th October 2014

A new plan aimed at creating an extra 93,000 jobs from start-up companies was today launched by Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton TD together with Minister of State for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD and Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English TD.

Central Bank research shows that start-up companies in the first five years of existence account for two thirds of all new jobs created in Ireland; as part of the Action Plan for Jobs the Government committed to develop and implement a plan to increase the number of entrepreneurs in Ireland and thereby support thousands of extra jobs.

The Government’s National Policy Statement on Entrepreneurship in Ireland represents the first time a Government has published a national plan for entrepreneurship. It is the Government’s plan to deliver an ambitious but realistic increase in the numbers of start-ups in Ireland over the next five years.

The plan follows on from and draws on the report of the expert Forum on Entrepreneurship, chaired by Sean O’Sullivan, and published earlier this year. The Minister and his Department also consuted with academics and entrepreneurs, other Government Departments and Agencies as well as the national business community through the Action Plan for Jobs forums in drawing together the plan.

The key target contained in the plan is to double the jobs impact of start-ups in Ireland over the next five years, from 93,000 currently. In order to deliver on this we must:

  • Increase the number of start-ups by 25% – representing 3000 more start-ups per annum
  • Increase the survival rate in the first five years by 25% – 1800 more survivors per annum
  • Improve the capacity of start-ups to grow to scale by 25%

Key measures included in the plan include:

  • Doubling the volume of funds available to start-ups in Ireland from business angel investment. Angel investors are successful entrepreneurs or executives who invest private funds in start-up businesses. Analyses of successful start-up environments around the world, in areas including Israel and Silicon Valley, repeatedly point to the existence of business angel networks as key elements. A total of approximately €70million is currently invested per annum by business angel investors in Ireland.
  • A network of co-working and accelerator spaces available for start-up businesses right across the country. The LEOs and the Community Enterprise Centres will form a key part of this – and this will be part of a new system of supports for start-ups locally. Included in this will be new competitive calls for funding, following on from the model pioneered successfully in the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition, which attracted over 1000 applicants from around the country
  • New mentoring services for start-ups, including a national database of mentors
  • Entrepreneurship programmes in schools, third and fourth level education, and in new apprentiveships systems
  • New targets for Agencies, including a 12% increase in start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland by 2015
  • New marketing plan to promote Ireland abroad as a location for international start-ups
  • Measures to promote entrepreneurship among under-represented groups – including women, young people, migrants and older people
  • Specific reductions in the administrative burdens facing start-ups, including the length of time it takes to register a new business and the burden of applying for licences
  • New supports for innovation by start-ups, and ambitious targets for EI and SFI to increase innovation activity by start-ups
  • New measures to support start-ups to sell abroad, including opportunities in supply chain of IDA companies
  • An annual report to the Minister for Jobs, analysing Ireland’s performance in entrepreneurship against domestic and international benchmarks

The plan also sets out a range of issues in the taxation system which, if addressed, could provide a major boost for the prospects for start-ups in Ireland – however consideration of these matters will ultimately be matters for the Minister for Finance and Cabinet in the context of Budget 2015 and future Budgets, including:

  • Share-based remuneration in private companies
  • Seed Capital Scheme and Employment and Investment Incentive
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Income tax

The measures in the plan will be implemented through the Action Plan for Jobs process in 2015 and future years. It is anticipated that entrepreneurship will be included as a Disruptive Reform in the 2015 plan.

Speaking today, Minister Bruton said: “In Ireland we have great entrepreneurs – we just don’t have enough of them. Given that two thirds of all new jobs come from start-ups, it is crucial that we improve our supports in this area if we are to create the jobs we need. That is why earlier this year I asked a group of academics and successful entrepreneurs – the people who have actually done it – to come up with a list of recommendations for how we can improve our performance in this area. Many of their recommendations were for business or private institutions to implement – but there is much that Government can do to incentivise, support, promote and encourage more people to start businesses – and that is what today’s plan is about.

“We have set ambitious but realistic targets for ourselves – most importantly, a doubling of the jobs impact of start-ups by 2019. We have set out what Government will do to help deliver on this –including interventions in mentoring, access to finance, education, promoting start-up as a career option, and providing spaces where entrepreneurs can work. More and more people in Ireland are choosing to create a job, instead of getting a job – I am convinced that with the right supports from Government we can deliver a step-change in this area and create tens of thousands of jobs that we badly need”.

Minister Nash said: “All types of entrepreneurship are critical to the health of the Irish economy at both a macro and a micro economic level. Correcting the problems of the past and putting Ireland on a more sustainable development path for the future must involve a comprehensive policy to support our existing entrepreneurs and to ensure a steady pipeline of future business founders”.

Minister English said: The dynamic process of entrepreneurship and new firm creation introduces new innovations throughout the economy.  Therefore, entrepreneurship in combination with innovation has a vital role in sustained economic growth and job creation. Generating fresh solutions to problems and the ability to create new products, processes or services is where the entrepreneur can be a driving force”.