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Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton)

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Snippet Contents:

I propose to take Questions Nos. 390 and 391 together.
I am aware of the co-investment funds that are being launched by the European Investment Bank (EIB) through the European Investment Fund (EIF) and are also being promoted by the European Commission. These funds are specifically targeted at further leveraging the investments of business angels into SMEs. The EIF launched a pilot of this Scheme in Germany and has recently launched an initiative in Spain. Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Finance have met with the relevant EIF executives in November to specifically discuss this initiative and my officials and Enterprise Ireland are in the process of assessing the feasibility of working with the EIF to leverage the European Angels Fund in the Irish market.
Enterprise Ireland and IntertradeIreland fund the HALO business angel partnership programme that is mandated to match business angels to appropriate projects which they would be interested in. HALO also works to develop business angel syndicates. Considerable effort has been put into addressing the seed and early stage funding gap indirectly through commitments to venture capital funds and directly through Enterprise Ireland's investment in 150 early stage Competitive Start Fund and High Potential Start-Up companies in 2012. A similar level of activity is forecast for 2013.
My officials have monitored the development of the UK Government's Angel co-investment funds. While the policy has not been replicated in totality the establishment of the four seed funds under the Seed and Venture Capital Scheme 2007-2012 has resulted in the Seed Funds acting as co-investment partners in deals involving business angels achieving similar objectives. As previously noted my officials are actively looking at the feasibility of working with the EIF and their Angel Fund programme.