OVER 115 new jobs are expected to be created through new start-up companies in the University of Limerick over the next five years.
The Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, officially opened the Tierney building at UL this Monday, which is hoped to kickstart the country’s economic growth.
UL already has a strong record in enterprise, as eight campus companies have been set up over the past five years, attracting in excess of €40 million in investment funding.
The state-of-the-art campus facility will house UL’s Innovation Centre and Lero – the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre. The UL Innovation Centre is the latest Enterprise Ireland campus incubation centre to be opened. It will support the formation and growth of 35 new high potential start-up companies between 2011 and 2016, generating over 115 new high-value jobs.
The iconic €11m centre spans four floors and 37,000 sq ft, and has a mission “to drive regional entrepreneurship with an international trading focus.”
Minister Noonan said the Tierney building will house “both cutting-edge software engineering research together with a centre that will support the growth of new high potential business start-ups.” Such centres, he said, are important to help Ireland get out of its current crisis. “Over recent years Ireland has built up a very impressive record in scientific research. If we are to get out of our present difficulties, we must now use this base to commercialise more ideas, create more Irish businesses, and attract and embed more multinational investment.
“Turning good ideas into good jobs: that is what SFI’s research centres, such as the Lero CSET, and funded teams are about, and that is what I am determined to achieve,” he said.
UL president, professor Don Barry, pledged the campus in Castletroy will “continue to uncover the emerging technological opportunities we have here in Ireland, to nurture those with high economic impact and growth potential and to support them in achieving success.”
*A full version of this story appeared in the Limerick Leader weekend edition, dated November 26, 2011