Government grants to campus companies will total £400,000


OVER £400,000 in grants will be committed by the Government to campus company projects by December, the Minister of State for Science, Commerce and Technology, Mr Pat Rabbitte, told the first European Union Conference on Campus Companies in Cork yesterday.

Mr Rabbitte told the conference that under its Campus Companies Programme the Government had already allocated £280,000 in funding to research and development grants, to help individuals assess the commercial potential of their projects.

"The concept of campus enterprise is a relatively new phenomenon here, but already the indications are that there is a tremendous potential within that sector for enterprise creation and development," Mr Rabbitte said.

Through government assistance, most third level colleges in Ireland had college incubation units and industrial liaison offices responsible for developing constructive linkages with industry, he said.

Campus companies were ideal candidates for corporate venturing, where a large company takes a direct interest or stake in a small start up enterprise.

"The academic benefits from having access to the management skills and financial support of the larger company, while the larger company gains direct access to a new technology or product," he said.

A recently published report by the EU High Level Advisory Committee on Research, Science and Technology highlighted the need to concentrate efforts on taking full advantage of the results of research, he said.

"There is a responsibility on all those engaged in research to fully exploit research results. Equally, more effective exploitation needs to be fostered, through better arrangements aimed at strengthening the level of interaction between researchers and industry," he said.