A new €80m fund that will be used to invest in companies that have grown out of research conducted in Irish third level institutions has been launched.
The University Bridge Fund II is led by European technology fund Atlantic Bridge, in partnership with a number of universities and includes a €20m contribution from Enterprise Ireland.
It is thought that the investment has the potential to create up to 1,000 new jobs over the next five years.
"Ireland's higher education institutes are delivering world class research," said Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.
"Translating this research and innovation into real-world impact and investment is a critical platform on which much of Ireland’s economic and social development is built," Mr Harris added.
The funding will be used to scale and commercialise the research carried out in universities through technology related companies focused on areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics and healthtech.
Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and University College Cork are among those institutions involved in the fund.
Other investors include the European Investment Fund and AIB.
"At Atlantic Bridge we are committed to developing deep relationships and networks between our Universities and investment and corporate partners creating a vital investment fund in the Irish ecosystem focused on commercialising our cutting edge deep-tech innovations," said Dr Helen McBreen, Partner at Atlantic Bridge.
The new fund follows the University Bridge Fund 1 which was launched five years ago.
The 30 companies it invested in, including drone delivery business Manna and medical firm Neurent Medical, have collectively raised more than €220m in co-investment.