Galway City Innovation District Signs Friendship Agreement with Holyrood, Newfoundland

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L-R: Gary Corbett, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Holyrood; Dr John Breslin, NUI Galway and GCID; Conor O’Dowd, KPMG and GCID; Dr Rick Officer, GMIT

The Galway City Innovation District, the non-profit company behind the successful PorterShed technology innovation hub in downtown Galway, has signed a friendship agreement with the Town of Holyrood in Newfoundland, Canada. The aim of the agreement is to support further growth in the marine and technology sectors within their areas.

The Galway City Innovation District’s goal is to create an innovation ecosystem, one that creates a synergistic relationship between people, companies, and place, that facilitates idea generation, open learning, collaboration and accelerates commercialisation. The first step towards this goal was the PorterShed, opened in 2016.

In a similar vein, the Town of Holyrood provides a hub for research and development at the BeachHead, enabling technology innovation and incubation, and has also established the Oceans Holyrood Initiative. Holyrood is the location of the Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University of Newfoundland, Labrador, the Centre for Applied Ocean Technology (CTEC), and the Offshore Safety and Survival Centre (OSSC) at the Holyrood Marine Base (HMB).

Galway has a strategic advantage in relation to marine and ocean technology through the Irish Marine Institute, SmartBay Ireland, NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, SEMRU, Carna Research Station (CRS), AirSea Laboratory, Coastal Observatory Radar System (CODAR), and MAREI, GMIT’s Marine & Freshwater Research Centre (MFRC), and Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART), with combined facilities which offer a range of marine services to all users and a cluster of marine-related companies and institutions.

Maurice O’Gorman, Chairman of the Galway City Innovation District, said: “We look forward to future harbour-side development which will reiterate Galway’s differentiation as Ireland’s research and innovation port, integrating with Galway’s future harbour development, and take inspiration from the phenomenal marine development achieved by the Town of Holyrood over the past short number of years.”

Mayor Gary Goobie stated, “It is an exciting time for Holyrood and we could not be more pleased with the signing of this agreement with GCID. Our residents can be assured that Holyrood is ready to take its place provincially, nationally and internationally in the ocean sector industry as an energetic, progressive and sustainable community.”

Gary Corbett, Chief Administrative Officer at the Town of Holyrood, said: “Holyrood is proud to become an official member of the Galway collaboration network. We recognize the great accomplishments at PorterShed and we anticipate shared successes in marine research and innovation as we facilitate economic growth and development in both our regions through the marine sector. There is a lot of room to grow, and together through meaningful collaboration and exchange of ideas, we can realize phenomenal potential.”

Dr John Breslin, NUI Galway, said: “We have had a great relationship with the Holyrood team since they first visited the PorterShed – which at that stage, was still a shell – in 2015. When we met, both parties expressed an interest in determining future collaborative opportunities and potential, and our agreement is to pursue continued engagement and collaboration toward this objective.”

10 Digital Startups Join Inaugural NDRC at PorterShed Programme

The new digital accelerator and investment programme NDRC at PorterShed is kicking off this week with 10 new digital startups moving into the Eyre Square base as part of the programme over the next three months.

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10 digital startups join inaugural NDRC at PorterShed programme

Selected after an open and competitive application process, the 10 companies were chosen on the basis that they demonstrated the best potential for rapid growth and expansion. The startups, which include a strong international presence with teams joining from Estonia, Spain, Ukraine and the UK, cover a broad base of sectors including agri tech, auto and construction.

A partnership between NDRC and the Galway City Innovation District and co-funded by Enterprise Ireland, NDRC at PorterShed is a key part of Enterprise Ireland’s overall strategy for increasing the number and quality of start-ups that have the potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years.

Established by the Government in 2007, NDRC builds and invests in digital startups that have the potential to grow internationally. The NDRC team will work closely with the PorterShed based entrepreneurs over the course of the programme helping them move beyond a good idea, into building a team and a business that can attract investment and grow. NDRC portfolio companies include companies like Nuritas, Plynk, Boxever and NewsWhip.

Speaking about the new programme in Galway, Ben Hurley, CEO of NDRC said:

“This is an exciting week for the teams, they will be working intensively over the next few months to take their businesses to the next level. We were delighted with the quaility and depth of the applications we received and believe we have a strong group of startup companies to invest in and build. We look forward to helping them progress in this over the next 12 weeks”.

Dr John Breslin, NUI Galway lecturer and a founding director of the Galway City Innovation District said:

“This is a key milestone towards increasing Galway’s entrepreneurship capacity and growing our innovation ecosystem in the West of Ireland. Enterprise Ireland have recognised the need for regional jobs growth through this co-funded regional accelerator programme for startups, and we look forward to working with our experienced accelerator programme partners at the NDRC as these 10 exciting digital startups are mentored and trained through the NDRC at PorterShed accelerator programme.”