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€250k fund now open to design-led start-up companies

Minister Ged Nash TD, pictured at the Fresh Talent exhibition at Dublin Castle with (l-r) Stephen Hughes, Manager, Enterprise Ireland and Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of Irish Design 2015

Enterprise Ireland is to deliver the €250,000 fund to support the creation of design-based start-ups as part of the Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) programme.

The announcement of the new fund was made by Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD at the official opening of the Fresh Talent exhibition in Dublin Castle.

The Competitive Start Fund – Design will provide up to €50,000 in equity support to individual companies in manufacturing or internationally traded services that are design-led or utilise design as a strategic competitive advantage.

Announcing the fund Minister Nash said: “Design impacts right across product development in sectors such as medical devices, electrical devices and food, and is also driving the emerging creative sectors such as graphics, film and animation, web interface and ICT design, where exports and job creation are expected to outperform the norm.

“Design is the missing link in Ireland’s innovation agenda. I am satisfied that the fantastic response to ID2015 programmes and events to date will redress that deficit by promoting the work of talented Irish designers on the international stage, strengthening the capability of the Irish design sector and promoting collaboration between the Irish design sector and the wider business sector.

“I believe that we are well on the way to achieving the objectives of creating new design companies, achieving additional exports of design-based products and services and creating 1800 design-based jobs across the regions of Ireland.”

Halfway through its term, ID2015 highlights include over 300 designers, studios and companies being showcased nationally and 40 companies being supported through ID2015’s International Trade Fund, in association with Enterprise Ireland and other agencies, to participate in 50 other international trade events.

“Central to the planning and delivery of our programme is collaboration with public and private partners, both here in Ireland and abroad, in order to ensure a legacy from this year,” said Karen Hennessy, chief executive of ID2015.

“With continued support and investment in design and working with our partners, particularly Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office network, ID2015 has the potential to act as a catalyst for significant change in Ireland’s competitiveness in the global marketplace and in creating employment opportunities over the years to come.”

Full details of the Competitive Start Fund - Design are available on the Enterprise Ireland website

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