There was a broad welcome this week in the city for the announcement of €2.5M in funding for the provision of a second building at the successful Portershed.
The new facility will incorporate co-working space, private office space and event space for scale-up technology and medtech companies.
The announcement was made by Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD who revealed the results of the €29.5 million second round of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF ), an open national competitive call to support regional projects.
The not-for-profit Galway City Innovation District CLG, operators of the PorterShed, were announced as one of 21 successful projects out of 77 applicants, with funding of €2.5M secured to provide a second building incorporating co-working space, private office space and event space for scale-up technology and medtech companies. The project aims to support 780 jobs directly and indirectly over its funding lifecycle.
Announcing the successful second round Galway applicants of the REDF, backed by the Government’s Project Ireland 2040, Minister Sean Kyne TD said these projects have been selected because of their clear potential to drive innovation and creativity in Galway and the West, and encourage, nurture and sustain startups and employment which is fundamental to a successful economy and healthy society.
Mary Rodgers, Innovation Community Manager at the Galway City Innovation District said they are delighted to have received significant REDF funding from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, through Enterprise Ireland, to complement the existing PorterShed offerings for startups with this much-needed facility for scaleup companies to grow and create jobs in Galway.
“This second building will boost the existing innovation, entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem in Galway and support a geographically balanced and integrated approach to economic and social development in the West of Ireland. It will also act as a fast-landing site for incoming FDI companies, with three companies lined up already,” she said.
A further €2 million is being allocated to the Udaras na Gaeltachta-led Pairc na Mara project planned for Cill Chiarain, Connemara. A dedicated marine innovation hub, Pairc na Mara is a collaborative project involving the Marine Institute, GMIT, NUI Galway, and Bord Iascaigh Mhara, among others. It will be a hub for research, development, and innovation for the marine sector in the west.
Barry Egan, West Region Director, Enterprise Ireland said supporting enterprises to build scale and expand reach is a key focus of Enterprise Ireland, and the Regional Enterprise Development Fund helps to further drive growth in key sectors in the West of Ireland, particularly in the context of Brexit.
“Along with the Páirc na Mara project, these projects will contribute significantly to supporting scale-ups and job creation in Galway City and County.”
Opened in May 2016, the Galway City Innovation District’s PorterShed, backed by AIB, has over 100 seats, and is currently home to 38 startup companies.
The PorterShed has supported the creation of 660 jobs. 15 companies have graduated from the country’s first regional accelerator, NDRC at PorterShed, and 525 events have been held in the space. It also contributes an estimated €15 million per annum to the local economy.