Enterprise Ireland publishes Annual Report and Accounts 2012

23rd July 2013

Investment in innovation driving employment and record exportgrowth in client companies in 2012

Enterprise Ireland’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2012 published today, Tuesday 23 July 2013, show that client companies achieved record levels of exports in 2012, breaking the €16bn point for the first time.  The report also shows that client companies created 12,861 new jobs in 2012 resulting in a net increase in full-time employment of 3,338, primarily driven by this record export performance.  Despite a continued challenging economic environment in 2012 Enterprise Ireland supported companies crucially added to their employment base and now support more than 300,000 jobs in the Irish economy.   

Total direct employment (full and part-time) in Enterprise Ireland client companies stood at 169,451 in 2012.  Of these, 145,460 are full-time jobs, while 23,991 are part-time jobs.  In addition, new job commitments made by Enterprise Ireland clients in 2012 were over 7,000.

Enterprise Ireland clients also continued to invest in research and development and continuous innovation.  Almost 800 companies were involved in significant R&D projects greater than €100k and a record 134 companies engaged in R&D projects with more than €1m spend.

Under the Government’s ‘Action Plan for Jobs 2012’ Enterprise Ireland was directly involved in 105 of a total of 270 actions. Throughout the year we delivered on these targets in areas such as Potential Exporters, Global Sourcing, Micro Enterprise, Diaspora Initiatives, International Entrepreneurs and Female Entrepreneurship.

While the external environment remains particularly challenging, Enterprise Ireland is increasing its activities to support clients win new export business and build international networks and partnerships.  2013 will see a record number of ministerial-led trade missions with an increased focus on high growth economies in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.  This will be backed up by a wide range of inward buyer visits, study visits, trade fairs, Embassy events and knowledge seminars, all aimed at linking Irish companies to international buyers, leading to increased exports and jobs for Ireland.

Launching the report Frank Ryan, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said: ‘Continuous investment in innovation and export development is crucial for the continued global success of Irish industry.  Irish exporters are to be commended on their outstanding achievements in 2012, particularly when you consider this against the backdrop of a global economic slowdown.  These companies spend almost €19bn annually on goods and services in the Irish economy which has an enormous impact in every town and village across the country.   

‘The increased employment in Enterprise Ireland client companies after a number of difficult years is especially welcome.  Breaking the €1bn barrier in export growth in Asia and increased sales in targeted high-growth markets is really encouraging.  The challenge now is to build on these achievements in 2013 and the years ahead and to contribute to jobs growth in Ireland’.

Welcoming the report the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, said: ‘At the centre of the Government’s plans for jobs and growth is a determination to create a powerful engine of indigenous business, and  we have put in place a range of measures to provide better supports for Irish businesses.  Enterprise Ireland is crucial to these plans, and the Agency’s Annual Report published today shows continued strong delivery. I commend Frank Ryan and his team on their achievements. I am determined that, through the continued rigorous implementation of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, we will help ensure that these indigenous exporting companies drive a powerful recovery in the Irish economy and create the jobs we need’.


For further information contact Enterprise Ireland Press Office:


Alan Hobbs

Enterprise Ireland Press Office.

01 7272963

Alan Hobbs


Enterprise Ireland Annual Report and Accounts 2012 Highlights

Where we invested and outputs achieved

  • Enterprise Ireland client companies achieved record export sales of €16.2bn in 2012, with substantial growth coming from the North American and Asia Pacific markets. Non-food sector exports grew by 11%, while food sector exports were up by 2.3%.
  • Our clients established 383 first-time overseas presences and won 777 significant new international customers, while high-potential start-ups secured 104 new international reference clients all with significant assistance from Enterprise Ireland. 
  • We launched a new Potential Exporters Division to serve the needs of Irish companies exporting for the first time.
  • Some 798 clients companies were engaged in a significant R&D spend of over €100k per annum, and a further 134 top-tier research performing client companies spent over €1 million per annum on R&D.
  • The Kerry Group’s commitment to establish its €100m Global Technology and Innovation Centre in Co Kildare marks the largest single investment in food innovation ever by a company in Ireland.
  • We launched the Technology Gateway programme to support  the next generation of industry-led centres in the institutes of technology; approved the  first two projects supported by the International Energy Research Centre, and, in partnership with IDA Ireland, we established three new Technology Centres in the areas of financial services, e-learning innovation and cloud computing.
  • Enterprise Ireland supported a total of 97 high-potential start-up (HPSU) companies – the highest number ever. Of these, 12 were led by overseas entrepreneurs, 14 were spinouts from research and eight were led by female entrepreneurs.
  • We developed a new pilot Competitive Feasibility Fund and supported a total of 60 early-stage projects through our Competitive Start Fund.
  • Our annual ‘Big Ideas’ showcase, which is the largest gathering of inventors and investors in the country, introduced 19 inventions to more than 300 possible investors and business partners.
  • Some 521 individuals participated in Enterprise Ireland-backed entrepreneurship programmes, including, New Frontiers, IdeaGen, EnterpriseSTART, the Internet Growth Acceleration Programme and Food Works.
  • We established a new Micro Enterprise and Small Business Division and a world-class centre of excellence to assist Local Enterprise Offices as they begin to support micro and small businesses. 
  • We created a new €255m Development Capital Scheme to address a funding gap for mid-sized, indigenous companies.
  • Enterprise Ireland, in partnership with the National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF), invested in Sofinnova Ventures and launched a second €60m call for international fund managers through Innovation Fund Ireland.
  • Some 295 executives in client companies participated in significant management development programmes, while 716 executives took part in short management development programmes.
  • We supported 144 lean initiatives in client companies, including 17 significant LeanTransform projects.
  • Our Public Procurement team organised over 120 supplier-buyer introductory meetings, and almost 700 client companies participated in 19 public procurement related knowledge and capability building events. 
  • Our Global Sourcing team has developed a joint-agency strategy with IDA Ireland to help Irish companies win more business through global sourcing by multinational corporations.