09/08/2018

Minister Humphreys Turns Sod On GMIT Campus Extension

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, has turned the first sod on the site of the new extension to GMIT's Innovation Hub (iHub) at the GMIT Galway campus.

The extension will double the size of the Innovation Hub to about 2,400 m2, providing space for an additional three dedicated MedTech R&D units; 17 incubation units for start-ups in the Software, Digital Tech, Connected Health sectors; a Co-Working space; an Events Space; Social Hubs; and, breakout meeting and networking areas. The extension will also provide a dedicated Entrepreneurship Hub where GMIT researchers, staff, students and Industry can work collaboratively on the creation and development of innovative ideas in support of an Open Innovation Strategy.

Speaking at the event, held today Thursday 09 August, Minister Humphreys said: "I warmly welcome the new iHub extension. Now more than ever, companies need to innovate to meet the changing needs of markets, and these additional facilities will provide even greater opportunities for local entrepreneurs and researchers in this regard. This extended iHub will also impact positively on the local economy in Galway - the evidence tells us that new companies that start out in an incubator are more inclined to remain in that region."

The event was attended by the Mayor of Galway City, Cllr Níall Mc Nelis, local public representatives, Enterprise Ireland representatives, GMIT management and iHub client companies.

Dr Michael Hannon, Deputy President of GMIT, also said: "GMIT welcomes the support from Enterprise Ireland for this necessary extension to cater for the increased demand we are experiencing to support new start-ups. This new facility will allow greater interaction between cutting edge research and entrepreneurship at undergraduate level. Importantly, the increased space that will allow double the number of enterprises to be supported, makes the iHub centre self-sustaining. This is a welcome development for the Institute as it demonstrates a good use of taxpayers' money and allows greater engagement between academia and the business community."

Gearóid Mooney, Research & Innovation, Enterprise Ireland, added: "Enterprise Ireland is committed to helping Irish entrepreneurs and companies through the start-up phase of their journey and are delighted to be able to support the expansion of this iHub with additional units and a new dedicated Entrepreneurship hub. This expansion will enable GMIT iHub to build on the successful start-up and enterprise eco-system already in place and hopefully double its capacity to over 40 enterprises. Working with GMIT and iHub, Enterprise Ireland will continue to leverage our strong international reputation as a first-class technology base with a world class start-up ecosystem to allow ambitious entrepreneurs to start, scale and succeed – providing valuable and highly skilled jobs here into the future".

(MH)

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