The Government is to invest a further €17.5m in the National Digital Research Centre, the organisation that helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas and research into commercial ventures.

The NDRC has helped develop businesses that employ 250 people since 2008.

A further 50 jobs are promised by the end of the year.

The fresh Government investment will take place over the next five years.

Announcing the funding, Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte said: "This Government remains staunchly committed to investing in Ireland's knowledge economy.

"It is essential for the country's recovery that home-grown ideas are nurtured to such point that they can flourish in their native environment and contribute to sustainable growth and this forms part of our action plan for jobs."

The announcement came as the NDRC published its annual report for 2012.

It shows that market value of firms emerging from NDRC doubled in 2012 to €39m and is expected to reach €91m by the end this year.

The companies also received over €16m in follow-on investment during last year.

NDRC provides a number of programmes to help fledgling digital businesses to develop.

It invests pre-seed capital in the companies, provides mentoring and helps the firms attract outside private investment.