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IVCA Welcomes Support For VC Sector

by Jason Gorringe,, London

30 December 2008

Ireland's Taoiseach, Brian Cowen recently launched a new recovery plan, intended to attract and retain investment by high-tech and environmentally-oriented firms in the Republic.

A key plank of 'Building Ireland's Smart Economy: A Framework for Sustainable Economic Renewal', was the creation of venture capital funds worth EUR500m, to consolidate and build on Ireland's position as a location for technology development.

Commenting ahead of the launch of the new initiative, which took place on December 18, Cowen observed that:

"Many countries are simply trying to ride out the global economic difficulties. By putting a framework on the table today, this government is showing its commitment not only to lead the country through this once-in-a-century downturn, but also to restructure the economy so that we are in pole position when the global recovery occurs – we must plan for the recovery now."

"Achieving a successful transition to economic recovery based on a new and sustainable dynamic requires a national effort, in particular, to meet short-term, but crucial, challenges. The government intends to work with all who have a stake in our country's future, including the unions, employers and other social partners. I met with the social partners on Tuesday and outlined the government's thinking. I invited the social partners to work with us in a constructive spirit so as to finalise the necessary actions to develop and implement the framework. I look forward to working with them as they engage with us in the context of the government's ideas set out in this framework."

Under the framework, the government will partner with several US venture capital firms to offer support to hi-tech start-ups locating in Ireland.

Fine Gael and Labour have criticised the plan as containing too little in the way of concrete action.

Commenting the wake of the government's December 18 announcement, the Irish Venture Capital Association broadly welcomed the initiative.

“The government is to be applauded in this latest initiative, which combined with existing VC funds, will make available over EUR1bn for investment in Ireland’s SMEs,” commented Regina Breheny, Director General of the IVCA. “Research conducted by UCD shows that VC backed firms create more jobs, employ more graduates and generate more exports than other firms."

She concluded:

“While details on this new fund need to be clarified, indigenous tech-based companies are Ireland’s future and this move by government will encourage entrepreneurial talent.”

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining tax-sheltering arrangements for investors, including Venture Capital, Forest Finance, Film Finance, is available in the Lowtax Library at and a description of the report can be seen at

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