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GMIT IHUB Extension Work Commences

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GMIT IHUB Extension Work Commences

GMIT IHUB Extension Work Commences
August 20
09:45 2018

The first sod has been turned 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 sq m, 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.

Dr Michael Hannon, Deputy President of GMIT, 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 tax-payers’ money and allows greater engagement between academia and the business community.”

The Innovation Hub (iHub) extension journey started back in 2015 with Enterprise Ireland’s funding call for Campus Incubation Extension projects. GMIT were successful in a highly competitive process under this call and achieved funding from Enterprise Ireland of €3 million. George McCourt, GMIT’s Head of Innovation & Enterprise, David Lee, GMIT’s Manager of Buildings & Estates, and Des Foley, Head of the GMIT School of Science & Computing, were the GMIT team who won the funding.

Currently, the iHub provides an entrepreneurship eco-system for 23 enterprises: 11 incubation start-up companies in the MedTech and DigitalTech sectors; five start-ups at a very early idea stage; and seven participants on the New Frontiers programme. This is projected to double to over 40 enterprises within the extended iHub.

It will also support several Entrepreneur Development Programmes including Enterprise Ireland’s ‘New Frontiers’, and ‘Empower’–a dedicated entrepreneurship programme for women. It will enable new customised entrepreneurship programmes for GMIT students and graduates and better support youth entrepreneurship within the heart of a vibrant innovation eco-system.

GMIT Vice President for Research & Innovation Dr Rick Officer said: “Colleagues within GMIT’s Research and Innovation and Buildings and Estates function, have worked closely with Enterprise Ireland and GMIT’s appointed design team, led by Van Dijk Architects, to produce an exciting, dynamic building design. The very prominent site on the Galway campus, with south facing aspect over Galway Bay, is on one of the busiest roads in and out of the city.”

David Lee, Manager of Buildings and Estates, added: “The building design incorporates external finishes of the highest third-level standards, which are consistent with the existing finishes on GMIT’s multi-award-winning learning resource centre. The extension is designed to provide a striking elevation whilst shielding from solar gain, road noise and wind-driven winter rain. The building is articulated at its western end, providing an impressive bookend to the city-facing corner of GMIT’s Dublin road campus.”

George McCourt, Head of Innovation & Enterprise, GMIT, said: “To date, the GMIT iHubs have supported the creation of about 600 new jobs, 32 high-growth start-up companies, 42 client companies relocating to the regions, over €1 million in Competitive Start Funding, and €140 million in investment funding raised by iHubs client companies. Incubation alumni of the GMIT iHubs include Novate Medical, Veryan Medical, NeoSurgical, Nortev, TradeCert, Chipright, CGA Technology, Hillwalk Tours and Game Golf and others.

For further information on GMIT’s Innovation Hubs, see: http://www.gmit.ie/gmit-innovation-hubs

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