Dáil Éireann - Volume 605 - 28 June, 2005
Written Answers - Industrial Development.
Mr. Morgan Mr. Morgan
 422. Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of companies which received financial or other supports from Enterprise Ireland in each of the past five years. [22644/05]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Mr. Martin:The number of individual Enterprise Ireland, EI, client companies who received financial support from EI in each of the past five years is as follows.
In addition to financial support, EI provides a range of non-financial support to its client companies, including market supports, human resource development, technical know how and expertise. Through its network of 33 international offices, EI assists companies to create and implement successful strategies for market entry, development and growth. Services provided include arranging access to international buyers and increasing the number of in-market trade promotion activities. Companies are also assisted to develop awareness, knowledge and understanding of markets and to build the marketing capabilities to fully exploit the opportunities available in overseas markets. For example, in 2004 Enterprise Ireland actively supported 177 clients to enter new markets, organised over 9,500 client-buyer meetings across all sectors and markets, organised 56 missions both at home and abroad to introduce clients to top level buyers and facilitated new market opportunities for 199 clients through participation at 21 trade fairs.
EI’s non-financial supports to enhance in company research and development include the research and development awareness campaign and the innovation management initiative, which provide training on all aspects of innovation and research and development management. A total  of 398 company personnel participated in these initiatives in 2004. Under the EI applied benchmarking for competitiveness initiative, which supports client companies striving to increase their productivity, a total of 91 individual clients were benchmarked against their sectoral peer group in Europe in 2004. In addition, 59 client company participants were assisted to prepare and strengthen their first export strategies under the EI first flight initiative.
EI provides spaces for company creation through its nationwide incubator construction programme to support spin-off companies at third level institutions. By the end of 2004, €32 million had been committed to 15 centres at the institutes of technology around the country and these are now coming on stream. In the period 2003 to 2004, EI has also provided financial support for the conversion of six existing buildings in universities-hospitals into bio-incubators which will provide laboratory and office space of up to 20 start-up companies.
Through its community enterprise programme, Enterprise Ireland works with local community groups in the provision of infrastructural facilities to support the establishment of micro enterprises. In 2004, seven new community enterprise centres were completed in Macroom, Carlow, Lismore, Easkey, Ballyshannon, Moville and Emyvale and the centre in Ballina was expanded. A total of 97 such centres, involving an investment of €23 million by Enterprise Ireland, are now operational throughout the regions with associated employment of 3,000 people.
Dáil Éireann 605 Written Answers Industrial Development.