Minister Sherlock opens call for applications to €22 million Enterprise Ireland Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative

Major investment to support new company creation and transfer of intellectual property between Higher Education Institutions and industry

Seán Sherlock T.D. Minister for Research & Innovation today (Thursday, 22nd December, 2011) opened a call for proposals from Irish Research Performing Organisations under Phase 2 of the Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative.

The €22 million initiative, €5.5 million per annum from 2013-2016, will build on the achievements of the initial five year programme, and will significantly boost interaction between industry and Higher Education Institutions.

Opening the call for proposals Minister Sherlock said, “The first phase of the Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative has proved to be a very valuable means of developing third level research into new spin-out companies and of enabling the licencing of new technologies for the benefit of industry.

“I am anxious to keep up the momentum of the Initiative and so I have arranged to provide funding for a Phase Two Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative which will run until the end of 2016. I believe that it is important that Ireland develops a reputation in industry circles for providing access to intellectual property in a professional and efficient way.”

“By building new companies and bringing fresh ideas from the research environment to the attention of existing industry in a useable format, we will create employment and generate increased exports, both of which are critical to our economic recovery”, Minister Sherlock concluded.

Introduced by Enterprise Ireland in 2007, the Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative has transformed how research with commercial potential is brought to the marketplace.  The clearest indicator of the initiatives’ success is the 3-fold increase in the average number of spin-out companies created in the 5 year period since it was introduced - rising from an average of 7 per annum in the period 2002-2006 to an average of 24 per annum between 2007 and 2011.

In addition to the 120 spin-out companies created, there has also been a 400% increase in the amount of technologies licensed to companies by research performing organisations.

The objectives of the second phase include the development of a fast, flexible response to industry’s requests for access to intellectual property and giving spin-out companies the best possible start.  A new dimension to the initiative will see the formation of regional clusters of research performing organisations which will see the sharing of resources and expertise, thereby delivering an enhanced service for industry in Ireland.

According to Feargal Ó Móráin, Executive Director Enterprise Ireland, “Ireland’s technology transfer system compares well with more mature systems like those in the US and EU with up to 4 times as many spin-outs created and 20% more technologies licensed to companies for the amount of expenditure on research.  The extension of funding for a second phase of the Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative will enable us to increase the flexibility and responsiveness of the system to make it a key resource for industry in Ireland”.

Enterprise Ireland manages the Irish technology transfer system in partnership with the Higher Education Institutions. Proposals are expected from Irish Higher Education Institutions before the 30th March 2012 deadline.


For further information please contact

Grace Labanyi
Enterprise Ireland
Communications Officer

Grace Labanyi
+353 1 7272746 
+353 87 3286404