Innovation Fund Ireland (the Fund) was launched on 12 July 2010 when it was announced that the State would contribute 250 million euro to the Fund over the next five years with the aim of attracting leading international venture capital fund managers to Ireland. This funding runs along two parallel tracks:
- the first, comprises a 125 million euro pool of funds managed by Enterprise Ireland (EI). EI received thirty-two expressions of interest in response to its first call for expressions of interest in the Fund which closed on 26 November 2010. EI are currently reviewing these expressions of interest. EI have indicated that they expect two international venture capital funds to establish Irish operations during 2011 under the Fund's programme.
- the second, is for a similar amount and designed to allow the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) to make a similar level of commercial investments assuming its criteria are met. The first NPRF investments under the Fund in DFJ Fund X (10 million euro) and DFJ Esprit Fund III (20 million euro) were announced on 7 October 2010. Subsequently the NPRF announced a 50 million euro investment in US venture capital firm Polaris Venture Partners on 16 December 2010.