Business Irish

Friday 19 September 2014

Over 600 jobs to be created at WIT 'Netlabs' operation

Waterford centre to fast-track research breakthroughs into commercial products

Published 06/03/2014 | 11:57

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OVER 600 jobs will be created by a new Waterford centre that aims to fast-track research breakthroughs into money-spinning commercial products.

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Education Minister Ruairi Quinn will hail the new TSSG ‘NetLabs’ operation at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) as precisely the type of cutting-edge development Ireland wants to foster.

The Telecommunications, Software and Systems Group (TSSG) facility – based on WIT’s western campus at Carriganore – opens with €5m in support funding from the EU ‘Horizon 2020’ fund.

‘NetLabs’ said it hopes to support the creation of over 600 jobs throughout the south-east by 2019.

WIT President, Dr Ruaidhrí Neavyn, said it was a very exciting project in a region which the IDA and Government have already prioritized job creation.

“We are very much ready to take on for additional funding from Horizon 2020 - it's that type of initiative we want to tie into,” he said.

“This type of investment helps drive new ideas, innovation…enterprise activities.”

Mr Quinn stressed the Government is acutely aware of the needs of the south-east region.

He pointed out that Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton and the IDA has overseen an extra 15,000 people in work in the region in the past 12 months.

TSSG has been the major driver in the emergence of a telecommunications industry in the region.

WIT views the complex as a major asset to help drive R&D projects within the 10,000 student college.

Since 2009, it has secured funding of €10m under the EU Framework Programme-FP7, making it one of the most successful ICT research centres in Ireland.

The new €5m grant package has been allocated under the EU’s ‘Horizon 2020’ programme which has a whopping €80bn in funding available from 2013-2020.

TSSG’s ‘NetLabs’ operation will work with small and medium enterprises, mostly Irish firms, to help secure critical support funding for product development.

The aim is to ‘fast-track’ key research breakthroughs into commercial products for the marketplace – and to deliver regional job creation as a result.

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