I fully appreciate the Senator's significant commitment to Loughrea and I fully understand her view. IDA Ireland is actively working with new and existing overseas companies in Galway to encourage them to grow and expand. The following are some recent significant investments in the area, and it is important to outline them.
On 17 May 2012, Merit Medical Systems Incorporated, a leading manufacturer and marketer of proprietary medical devices used primarily in cardiology, radiology and endoscopy, announced the creation of 200 new jobs over five years at the official opening of its new €20 million facility at the IDA Ireland business and technology park, Parkmore East, Galway. On 3 May 2012, SAP, the leading global software company, announced an investment of €110 million, creating 100 jobs at its Galway facility and 150 jobs at its Dublin facility. On 30 April 2012, Cisco, the world's largest supplier of networking products, announced an investment of €26 million at its Galway research and development facility in the next two years, with the creation of 115 jobs. On 18 April 2012, Mylan, a leading pharmaceutical company, announced 500 new positions across Irish operations in Galway and the Gerard Laboratories in Dublin over four years. On 11 April 2012, Medtronic announced the construction of a new customer innovation centre featuring state-of-the-art facilities, including a virtual lab and innovation suite, with over 70 jobs to be created during construction. As can be seen from these examples, Galway has an important medical technology cluster of IDA Ireland-supported companies.
There is also an expanding cluster of IDA Ireland-supported ICT companies and there is a diverse range of foreign direct investment companies in international services and engineering.
Enterprise Ireland is continuing to strongly support the innovation ecosystem in Galway through investment of €2.6 million in 38 development projects at NUI Galway and GMIT this year. Some 29 small companies in Galway have been approved for €5,000 innovation vouchers each in 2013 to undertake an innovation in partnership with a third level-knowledge partner. As part of Enterprise Ireland's support for early stage entrepreneurs, a series of calls for applications to the competitive start fund were launched in 2012 and two calls were announced to date in 2013. The purpose of the fund is to accelerate the growth of early stage start-up companies that have the capability to succeed in global markets. Under the terms of the fund, start-ups receive an equity investment of €50,000 and the services of an experienced business mentor. A number of west of Ireland early stage companies from Galway have been successful with the fund, including English Bubble Limited, Element Software and MDG Web. A €200,000 competitive feasibility fund for the west was launched in September 2012 by the Taoiseach and a total of 50 applications were received. A total of 13 entrepreneurs across the west were awarded funding under this scheme and they are developing business plans for their ideas.
Enterprise Ireland's national entrepreneur programme - the New Frontiers programme - was launched in 2012. The programme provides a generous package of supports to help accelerate the development of start-up businesses through GMIT in Galway and Castlebar which are delivering the programme on behalf of the agency. Some 14 participants were selected to participate on the 2012 programme. Phase 1 of the programme commenced this month in Castlebar and Galway. Under the community enterprise centre schemes, which is related to Loughrea, Enterprise Ireland has approved support for community owned or led enterprise centres in 19 locations in the west, which is helping to provide workspace and incubate new projects and businesses. Under the Action Plan for Jobs 2012 the following community enterprise centres were approved funding under the community enterprise centre business development funding: IRD Kiltimagh Limited, Action Tuam Limited, IRD North Mayo-West Sligo Limited, Galway Technology Limited and Ballinasloe Area Community Development Limited, to a total of €221,400 in 2012. A further call for proposals for this scheme closed in April 2013 and applications are being processed.
I am confident that the work of the enterprise agencies, and the combined agency resources represented on the county development board, will continue to meet the growth and development needs of Galway city and county.
With the roll-out of the LEOs and enterprise supports, any time there is a meeting at Galway that all the agencies attend, I will be happy to attend. If the Senator wants to focus on Loughrea and wants to facilitate a meeting with representatives of IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the country and city enterprise boards to review the east Galway region, I will be happy to attend, particularly if she considers this will refocus on her concerns.