Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine of Ireland, Charlie McConalogue TD, today officially opened the Inishowen Innovation hub, in Buncrana.
Inishowen Innovation represents a significant milestone towards fostering disruptive technological advancement, entrepreneurship and economic development in the Inishowen Peninsula, and wider North-West Ireland City Region. The state-of-the-art 700sqm space for start-up and scaling disruptive technology businesses, features gigabit fibre broadband provided by Vodafone and SIRO, along with office space, co-working spaces, meeting rooms, conference facilities, and access to essential tools and technologies. It is co-funded by Enterprise Ireland and Donegal County Council and under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), made available by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and administered by Enterprise Ireland.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine of Ireland, Charlie McConalogue TD stated: “It is my honour to formally open the Inishowen Innovation Hub in Buncrana today. This hub will be a game changer for Buncrana, Inishowen and the North West and will help current businesses and new businesses flourish in the area. My thanks to all those involved for their hard work in making this day happen.”
Inishowen Innovation will serve as a dynamic centre for collaboration, creativity, and growth where digital startups and tech entrepreneurs are given the support they need to harness their innovative ideas and drive positive change in the region. It also meets the demand for remote working space and offers a satellite location for global companies looking for a European base. It is already home to 25 clients and is a testament to the Irish governments commitment to creating opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to grow and innovate.
Maebh Conaghan, Regional Director West and North-West Regions, Enterprise Ireland, said: “The Inishowen Innovation hub in Buncrana is focused on supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Inishowen Peninsula and the North West Region, with a particular focus on fostering disruptive technological advancement. Enterprise Ireland has been proud to support the hub with funding of €1.1 million under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) to support that goal. We are delighted to see this fantastic new facility formally opened today which will provide a real boost to the region.”
The Governance structure of Inishowen Innovation includes representation from Donegal County Council, ERNACT and ATU Donegal, with ERNACT responsible for managing the development of the project and providing management and financial services to Inishowen Innovation. Other key stakeholders and advisors are drawn from CoLab, Donegal Education and Training Board, Forward Emphasis International, Inishowen Development Partnership, Spraoi agus Spórt, Tata Consultancy Services, and Ulster University.
Speaking at the launch, John McLaughlin, Chief Executive, Donegal County Council added: “The investment by Donegal County Council and Enterprise Ireland into the development of Inishowen Innovation is fundamental to the development of Inishowen’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Building an entrepreneurial disruptive tech community in the region is at the core of this new building. It provides a space where technology start-ups and innovators will be supported and nurtured.”
Sinéad Bryan, Managing Director of Vodafone Business said: “Since the beginning of the Gigabit Hub Initiative, we have seen many communities realise the benefits that come with smart working and world class connectivity. This vital infrastructure that has helped to promote rural parts of Ireland as destinations for international business, as businesses look to grow and scale to their full potential. The Inishowen Innovation Hub will support the creation of employment opportunities for the people of Donegal and the surrounding communities as well as positively impacting the local economy and further closing the digital divide for future generations.”
John Keaney, Chief Executive Officer, Siro, noted: “The Inishowen Innovation Hub is proof of the impact and potential of reliable and resilient connectivity to underpin business entrepreneurship and economic development in every part of Ireland. SIRO is pleased to bring its full fibre network to the heart of this hub, and the wider Donegal community, each day to ensure that people can live and work locally; start and develop their businesses and support economic growth throughout the county.“
Anyone starting a new tech business, looking to use disruptive technology to improve their business, or looking for state-of the art co-working facilities can learn more about Inishowen Innovation at www.theii.com.