Transforming the innovation landscape for South Dublin

Transforming the innovation landscape for South Dublin

Feasibility study by SQW Ltd. and Oxford Innovation recommends high impact innovation space options.

The opportunity to deliver dynamic new innovation space in South Dublin follows on from actions outlined in the Dublin Regional Action Plan for Jobs and the Dublin Regional Enterprise Strategy. South Dublin County Council’s policy focus on developing and growing new and innovative enterprise to ensure that the potential in our area is properly harnessed through provision of high-quality facilities and supports.

The recent feasibility study involved an audit of the current enterprise, innovation and incubation supports and space in the County (and Dublin Region), identifying the needs and requirements to maximise opportunities in the sector while also recommending the best approaches to meeting those needs in South Dublin. A number of specific objectives and opportunities were identified including:

  • Enhanced support for the local enterprise and innovation culture adding to the attractiveness of the County as a business location;
  • Addressing the shadow effect the County feels compared to Dublin City; and
  • Maximising local productivity growth while creating a hub for innovation which in turn can help to retain and embed a supply chain of innovators

The short-listed options for this exciting project each represent significant but different opportunities to transform the innovation landscape and agenda for South Dublin.

The report recommends the delivery of a high-quality, high-impact innovation centre (with a life science / digital tech focus) that combines on site ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ infrastructure, such as:

Specialist buildings: providing affordable office, laboratory and workshop spaces;

Networks: bringing together groups of innovative businesses to collaborate, share and explore development opportunities;

Business support: including mentoring, business advice, financial planning, start-up programmes, marketing support, and project-based student/graduate placements.

Prestige and profile: positive branding associated with a high-quality innovation hub to help tenant firms with attraction and retention of highly skilled employees as well as individual and collective promotion for firms. The two specific options recommended include:

  • A three storey 3,000 sq. m innovation centre at a waterfront location in Grange Castle Business Park, focused particularly on life science and digital/IT firms, building on the sectoral strengths of South Dublin and major businesses located in the business park.
  • A new build (or refurbishment of existing premises) comprising of 3,000 sq. facility within the ITT-Tallaght Hospital corridor, benefitting from close proximity to IT Tallaght (and Synergy Centre on campus there), Tallaght Hospital, Trinity College Dublin’s Medical School, Local Enterprise Office South Dublin and Tallaght town centre with the potential to develop a facility here as the catalyst for an innovation district.

These will both now be subject to final modelling, cost benefit analysis and review by the Council’s Economic, Enterprise and Tourism Development Strategic Policy Committee. We are strongly committed to delivering the right solution to enhance the local economic offering and look forward to identifying the best options (funding and delivery model) to move towards construction as soon as practicable.

Image credit: Innovation Factory Belfast

Frank is the Director of Economic, Enterprise and Tourism Development for South Dublin County Council.

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