Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton TD has officially opened the DCU Innovation Campus, a new national centre for innovation in the Cleantech sector, one of the fastest growing areas of economic activity and worth more than €5 trillion globally. The new campus, which will be a location of choice for Cleantech start-ups, SMEs and larger companies, is expected to drive significant green economy growth in the North Dublin and Leinster area, supporting 200 jobs over the initial 18 months.
The Cleantech sector develops innovative products and services to address major sustainability issues concerning water, waste, energy and emissions and forms a key strand of both the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs and its policy on growth and employment in the Green Economy. Speaking at the launch, Minister Bruton spoke of the significance of the new Innovation Campus in the context of this major government policy focus,
“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. The DCU Innovation Campus will play a key role in this by bringing together innovative start-ups and more established companies with the skills and ideas that only a university can provide. This is a model that has been used to great success internationally, for example in the North Carolina Research Triangle.”
“Today’s initiative is a great example of using scarce State resources in smart ways to drive job creation, and provides a model of what we must do across Government if we are to create the jobs we need. I commend Professor Brian MacCraith at DCU, Pat Gilroy of Dalkia, Frank Ryan and all at Enterprise Ireland as well as officials of my Department for their hard work in getting this project over the line. I am determined to ensure that we continue to drive growth in the green economy through initiatives like this to create the jobs we need.”
The Innovation Campus will be a central element of DCU’s contribution to the development of the Green Way, a collaborative venture established by industry, academic institutions and public/semi state players in the north Dublin region to create jobs and trade opportunities through its internationally recognised Cleantech cluster.
President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith emphasised the university’s commitment to delivering innovation and economic impact at both regional and national level,
“Ireland is facing unprecedented economic challenges that require innovative and bold strategic actions if we are to regain competitiveness. As Ireland’s University of Enterprise, DCU is strongly committed to delivering real innovation with an economic impact. Through the establishment of this new Cleantech hub, 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.”
The campus will attract new high-growth, Cleantech enterprises that wish to locate in a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem; international entrepreneurs wishing to take advantage of advanced DCU R&D; university spin-out companies; and student and graduate start-up companies. Dalkia, the utilities and energy management service provider, has been confirmed as the first tenant in the new Campus.
Pat Gilroy, CEO of Dalkia, said,
“Dalkia is delighted to be partnering with DCU in its establishment of this exciting new Innovation Campus. It will provide invaluable opportunities for Dalkia, and other Cleantech companies, to link into the existing and growing network of collaborations in the north Dublin Green Way Cluster to achieve competitive advantage and growth.”
Minister Bruton also launched UStart, a new accelerator programme to stimulate entrepreneurial talent amongst third-level students. This innovative start-up programme will invite multidisciplinary teams of university students to develop and present a business idea, the successful teams receiving up to €10 000 seed funding, office space in DCU Innovation Campus and mentoring from experienced professionals during an intensive accelerator programme in summer 2013. Development of UStart is being supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
Carin Bryans, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Bank Ireland said,
“As a significant employer in Dublin, we recognise the importance of ensuring that we contribute to the community in which we operate. During the past couple of years, we have focussed on supporting initiatives that address youth unemployment and development, through funding and employee engagement. We are extremely excited to be supporting the UStart programme in conjunction with DCU which we are confident will contribute greatly in developing critical entrepreneurial skills for third level students.”
The DCU Innovation Campus is located on the Old Finglas Road, the former Enterprise Ireland site in Glasnevin.