Irish government backs biotech

Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government’s trade and technology body has rolled out the first of 12 funds it plans to set up for venture capital investments in Ireland. Enterprise Ireland has allocated €95 million to venture capital investments and it is hoped that an additional €305 million will be raised in addition from private sector investors.

The first fund to be launched from the venture will target the biotech and life sciences industry and aims to help develop the sector in Ireland. Enterprise Ireland has entered into a partnership agreement with Seroba BioVentures, who will manage the fund. The fund hopes to reach a target of €25 million and has already completed a first closing at €15 million, of which €7.5 million has been provided under Enterprise Ireland’s Seed and Venture Capital Initiative.

“Biotechnology is predicted to be a major basis for economic growth in the 21st century,” said Mary Harney, Ireland’s deputy Prime Minister and minister for Enterprise. “The Irish Government is committed to developing the right long term policies and investing in the key areas needed to sustain and grow the economy through the next generation.”

Investments from the fund will have a particular focus on therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics as well as new enabling platforms. It will also target foreign-origin biotechnology entrepreneurs and early stage companies with the potential to establish in Ireland. The fund is already at an advanced stage of negotiation with two companies run by foreign-origin entrepreneurs, said Harney.