Sod Turned At GMIT iHub Site

10 Aug 2018 | 12.11 pm

Sod Turned At GMIT iHub Site

Extension will double number of startups

10 Aug 2018 | 12.11 pm

Plans to extend the Innovation Hub on the Galway campus of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) have taken a step forward with the turning of the first sod on the site of the new extension by business minister Heather Humphreys. 

The extension will double the size of the innovation hub to about 2,400 sq m, providing space for an additional three dedicated medtech R&D units; 17 incubation units for startups in the software, digital tech, and 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 developing innovative ideas.

Humphreys said: “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.”

GMIT deputy president Dr Michael Hannon added: “GMIT welcomes the support from Enterprise Ireland for this necessary extension to cater for the increased demand we are experiencing to support new startups. 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.”

Enterprise Ireland is putting €3m into the hub extension. At present, the hub accommodates 23 enterprises and this figure is expected to double when the extension comes online.

GMIT head of innovation George McCourt said: “This extension will provide enhanced infrastructure to foster job creation and startup growth with a particular focus on export markets.”

“To date, the GMIT iHubs have supported the creation of about 600 new jobs, 32 high-growth startup companies, 42 client companies relocating to the regions, over €1m in Competitive Start Funding, and €140m in investment funding raised by iHub client companies. 

“Incubation alumni of the GMIT iHubs include Novate Medical, Veryan Medical, NeoSurgical, Nortev, TradeCert, Chipright, CGA Technology, Hillwalk Tours, and Game Golf.”

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