May 2004 Tánaiste
Announces €20 million Venture Capital Fund for
Commercialisation of third level research
'Intellectual Property Key Asset' - Harney
Mary Harney, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise,
Trade and Employment, today (Wednesday 12th May) launched
a €20 million Venture Capital fund focused exclusively
on investing in companies whose Intellectual Property
arises from third level education institutional research.
Enterprise Ireland has committed €8.6m to the
fund which is being managed by 4th Level Ventures,
of Dolmen Securities Limited.
Two funds were announced
at the launch – the
4th Level Venture Seed Fund and 4th Level Venture
4th Level Venture Seed Fund will invest in high potential
start-up companies arising from research carried
out in Irish third level educational institutions.
4th Level Venture Fund will invest development
capital in established companies whose origins lie
educational institutions globally. Both funds target
opportunities that provide for capital appreciation
through rapid acceleration of revenues typically
arising in the
Life Sciences, Communications and Information Technology,
Material Sciences and Technology sectors.
the announcement the Tánaiste said, “Ireland
is firmly positioned as a highly educated, high skilled,
knowledge based economy. In order to strengthen this
position, the Government has substantially increased
investment in Research and Development activities
in the third level sector under the National Development
Plan. The commercialisation of technology from this
research base is vital. Successful commercialisation
in the emergence of the next wave of internationally
competing Irish companies in cutting edge sectors.
Property is the key asset in this knowledge economy.
The exclusive focus of this fund on investing in companies
whose Intellectual Property arises from third level
education institutional research addresses the barrier
of finance to knowledge based, research driven companies.
Ronan Reid, Director 4th Level Ventures said “4th
Level Ventures combines the best of breed partnerships
between business leaders, investors, the
third level sector and financial institutions. We apply
the resulting unique expertise to help build, commercialise
and grow the business opportunities that arise from third
level research. We look forward to working with the third
level sector in identifying and developing the next wave
of knowledge based, innovation driven companies”.
Maher, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland said,“A
unique and welcome aspect of the activities of 4th Level
Ventures concern their work on
the ground in various third level colleges. Representatives of the fund work
with commercialisation teams from the third level sector and with academics
at an early stage of the development of a project to help them evaluate propositions
and make commercial decisions. This early intervention is a vital step in converting
laboratory based research into innovative new start up companies”.