Dublin City University (DCU) is opening a new innovation centre that will aim to be a hub for clean-tech innovation by hosting start-ups, SMEs and larger companies operating in this area. It is hoped that the centre will help spawn 200 jobs in the first 18 months and potentially create 500 jobs over five years.
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, officially opened the new centre this morning, which is based at former Enterprise Ireland site on the Old Finglas Road in Glasnevin.
The new clean-tech campus will be part of Green Way, the collaborative initiative set up in 2010 by Dublin City Council, DCU, Dublin Airport Authority, Dublin Institute of Technology, North Dublin Chamber of Commerce, Ballymun Regeneration and Fingal County Council. The aim of Green Way is to create jobs and trade opportunities through its clean-tech cluster in the Dublin region.
Speaking at the launch, Bruton spoke of the significance of the new campus in the context of the Government's focus on driving Ireland's green economy.
"The green economy is a sector targeted as part of the Government's plans for jobs and growth, and late last year we published our plans in this sector aimed at driving the creation of 10,000 additional jobs in this sector over the coming years," he said.
Bruton added that the new DCU campus would bring together start-ups and more established companies.
"This is a model that has been used to great success internationally, for example in the North Carolina Research Triangle," he said.
DCU's president Prof Brian MacCraith said that companies that locate in the clean-tech centre will also be able to draw upon the university's research expertise.
"Companies can leverage the significant research expertise of DCU and its extensive partner network, particularly in the area of sustainability, thus positioning Dublin and Ireland as examples of best practice in public-private collaboration to solve the global issues of energy and environmental challenges," he said.
As well as clean-tech start-ups, the new hub will also aspire to attract and university spin-outs, plus entrepreneurs who wish to harness DCU's expertise in the area of R&D.
Energy provider Dalkia will be the first tenant at the centre. It is hoped that the new campus will support 200 jobs in the clean-tech space in the next 18 months.
UStart entrepreneurship programme
This morning, Bruton also launched UStart, a new accelerator programme to stimulate entrepreneurship amongst third-level students.
This programme will seek multidisciplinary teams of university students to develop and present a business idea. Successful teams will receive up to €10,000 in seed funding, office space at DCU and mentoring from experienced professionals during an accelerator programme in the summer of 2013. JPMorgan Chase Foundation is supporting UStart.