Enterprise Europe Network in Ireland Launched

12 May, 2008

Cork SMEs to benefit from new European business network
On behalf of the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Michael Ahern T.D, today (Thursday 8th May 2008) launched the Enterprise Europe Network in Ireland, a new and extensive European business and technology partnering network for companies.

The Irish consortium, known as EEN Ireland, responsible for delivering the services of the Enterprise Europe Network in Ireland consists of Enterprise Ireland and the Chambers in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Sligo and Waterford.

EEN Ireland plans to multiply its combined client base of Irish companies ten fold, increasing the number of Irish SMEs receiving business or technology partnering support to 20,000 over the next three years.

The wider Enterprise Europe Network has a substantial footprint involving 40 countries, with more than 4,000 specialist staff in 500 development agencies with access to more than 23 million SMEs across all business and technology sectors. EEN Ireland will help Irish SMEs access more than 3,000 European business opportunities using a technology and business partnering database via a dedicated website.

The 5 Chambers plus Enterprise Ireland have united with all the major players in the European business and technology partnering community to offer an accessible "one-stop-shop" service to help SMEs in particular access the following services;
·         Information on European legislation e.g. health & safety, environment and labelling
·         Finding suitable business partners and identifying market opportunities
·         Identifying and sourcing proprietary, licensable technologies from international sources
·         Assisting with intellectual property issues and license agreements
·         Assistance with licensing out proprietary technology
·         Helping SMEs access European research funding
·         Involvement in EU policy making and providing a channel for SMEs to give their feedback to the European Commission.
Launching the Enterprise Europe Network in Ireland, Mr. Ahern T.D, said: "The new Enterprise Europe Network is a milestone in Ireland's Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation and will be a key tool in the promotion of entrepreneurship and growth of enterprises in Ireland. I call on all SMEs in Ireland to use this network to maximise your business potential".

Enterprise Ireland's EEN Ireland contact point Jan Gerritsen said: "Enterprise Ireland is fully committed to the aims of the Network and is excited about working with the Chambers of Commerce in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Sligo and Waterford. Increasing the quality and quantity of innovation in Irish SMEs is a key target outlined in Enterprise Ireland's corporate strategy 2008-2010. By engaging with us, Irish SMEs can very quickly tap into a substantial and accessible business and technology partnering network with local support delivered right to their doorstep".

Conor Healy, Chamber Chief Executive, Cork Chamber said, "As European policy underpins such a significant extent of business activity in general, it is vitally important to keep abreast of developments in Brussels. We need to ensure that our members are informed of key European issues affecting industry. For several years we have had direct access to European institutions and experts via the Euro Info Centre group. This new network reflects the changes in Europe and gives us the added support we need to deliver appropriate services for the Cork region. We are delighted to be awarded the contract to host an Enterprise Europe Network centre which will be based here at Cork Chamber and we look forward to working with our colleagues throughout the network".

The new Enterprise Europe Network is part of the Commission's integrated policy for promoting entrepreneurship and growth of enterprises in Europe. It will support SMEs from all sectors to take greater advantage of the opportunities of the Single Market.
(This press release is available on the Department's website at

For more information contact:
Grace FitzGerald, Enterprise Ireland - Tel: 01 8082746/087 3286404
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