Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton has launched a range of measures aimed at commercialising research and development and boosting start up companies.

In a speech to the Irish Internet Association's annual conference, Mr Bruton announced €55m of initiatives.

'If we are to develop the companies of the future in Ireland, we must not only fund high-tech research in our universities and support high potential start-up companies, but also crucially address the gap in between the two - commercialisation,' he said.

The new measures include €5m over five years for an applied research centre in cloud computing; a €6m energy research centre and €44m in funding for principal Investigator research teams in
life sciences, ICT and energy.

The new energy research centre will support 40 jobs.

It will partner with companies including ESB, Eirgrid, Bord Gáis, Intel, Ericsson, and Siemens to develop a smart grid.

The 25 industry partners connected to research centre have committed a further €2.3m in funding over five years.

The principal investigator funding will support up to 300 positions.

Mr Bruton also announced a €750,000 competitive start-up fund, to be launched later this month and to fund 15 companies.

He also announced that the Government will increase resources for high potential start up companies, to increase the number created each year from 80 in 2010 to 100 in 2014.