A €23m investment, which will help small to medium companies increase their R&D capability at little cost by working with the Institutes of Technology, has been announced.

Minister of State Sean Sherlock said it will be delivered through collaborative partnerships between companies, a nationwide network of Technology Gateways and Enterprise Ireland.

Companies will have access to highly skilled labour and costly technology to help innovate and create new products, new materials and to develop technologies beyond their current capabilities.

Minister Sean Sherlock said the geographical location of the IT centres was critical to the success of the scheme.

He said the Government's primary goal is to generate growth and create employment in towns and cities around Ireland.

The Technology Gateway Network will give companies all over Ireland access to technology solutions for their business challenges.