Science Foundation Ireland has reported that 583 companies had 939 links with researchers funded by the organisation in 2011.

This represents a 19% increase on the number of linkages in 2011.

The SFI says its funding contributed to significant breakthroughs in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, cancer, superbugs, blindness, nano-sensor technology and social media trends.

The report says that self-supported researchers are working with 246 multi-nationals and 337 SMEs.

Minister of State with responsibility for research and innovation, Seán Sherlock, said that "the 158% increase which SFI has seen in the number of linkages is certainly a significant achievement."

Director General of SFI Professor Mark Ferguson said that "Investment in scientific research and innovation is delivering results with impact for today and for the future."