I thank the Deputy for raising this matter. He is absolutely right when he says that we always have to look to the future. That is why the Taoiseach and I launched the Future Jobs Ireland initiative earlier this year. The initiative positions Irish enterprise and Irish workers for the world of tomorrow. The pace of change means that the world of tomorrow is coming down the tracks at us very quickly. The indigenous high-tech industrial sector is a key sector of focus for Enterprise Ireland. In line with its Build Scale, Expand Reach strategy, which runs from 2017 to 2020, Enterprise Ireland is helping companies in the high-tech industrial sector to start, innovate and remain competitive in international markets now and into the future. To support the accelerated growth of start-ups in this area, Enterprise Ireland's high-potential start-ups division provides financial and non-financial support to innovative start-ups that have the potential to develop an innovative product or service for sale in international markets, as well as the potential to create a minimum of ten jobs and €1 million in sales within three years of starting up. This support includes equity funding of up to €250,000, which Enterprise Ireland invests in partnership with other investors in an investment round.
Other supports include innovation vouchers, mentors and capability building programmes such as excel at selling and investor-ready training.
To support established companies in this sector with accelerated growth, Enterprise Ireland engages with client companies through its teams of sectoral focused development advisers using a company-led diagnostic approach, which is used to establish clients' business needs. The agency can then tailor a support package to the company's growth potential based on its ambition, capability and need. A support package focuses, where relevant, on six business pillars, namely, innovation, finance, operations, sales and marketing, people and organisational development.
Support to client companies is awarded based on an agreed business plan. Enterprise Ireland supports focus on innovation to enable companies to develop new market opportunities and maximise their business performance; competitiveness to identify and measure issues for clients; and internationalisation to assist companies tackle the main challenges of breaking into new markets.