Business Irish

Friday 18 August 2017

Boston firm to hothouse startups on €1bn TCD tech campus

Trinity College is planning to create a €550m campus beside Silicon Docks
Trinity College is planning to create a €550m campus beside Silicon Docks
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A €1bn technology and enterprise campus being planned by Trinity College in Dublin will be a "global talent magnet" for the city - and feature a startup incubator run by Boston-based Cambridge Innovation Centre (CIC).

The campus aims to play a pivotal role in building Ireland's global presence in the technology sector

Diarmuid O'Brien, pictured, the chief innovation and enterprise officer at TCD, said that first phase of the new campus is likely to cost between €200m and €250m to develop.

The ambitious plan for the new campus - construction of which is hoped to begin within three years - will see a 100,000 sq m (1.1 million sq ft) tech epicentre in the heart of the capital, beside giants such as Facebook, Google and Airbnb.

Plans for the technology and enterprise campus were previously floated by TCD but it was reported last week that the scale of the proposed project has now significantly expanded. A major element - a large incubator space for commercial startups - will be operated for TCD by Boston-based Cambridge Innovation Centre (CIC).

CIC's entire innovation ecosystem houses more than 1,000 companies in 50,000 sq m of space. Startups that have used or are using the CIC complex have raised over $2.5bn (€2.3bn) in venture capital since 1999. CIC also operates centres in Rotterdam, Miami and St Louis. Its centre in Boston's Cambridge area was the first.

"What we really want is for the campus to stimulate the development of an innovation district for Dublin and for Ireland," said Mr O'Brien.

"What we would see is, for the first time, Ireland having a real critical mass of world-class research, scaling and startup companies, and large-scale multinationals all co-locating within a square mile of each other."

It will be developed using a public-private partnership. TCD has already spoken to multinationals, venture capital outfits and entrepreneurs to generate support for the plan.

"We are looking to get that community activated and involved and engaged and those conversations are on-going," said Mr O'Brien.

Irish Independent

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