Thursday 27 April 2017

Hopes of 500 jobs as DCU gets hub site rent free

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

THE State has given a leading university a prime site rent-free to allow it develop a sustainable energy hub, which could create 500 jobs.

Dublin City University (DCU) is developing the 'Innovation Campus', and Jobs Minster Richard Bruton says he hopes it will create 200 jobs in the first 18 months of its operation, and 500 jobs over five years.

DCU is aiming to attract similar companies operating in the 'clean tech' sector – which develops products and services focusing on water, waste, energy and emissions sustainability – to the Glasnevin site, formerly used by Enterprise Ireland.

Mr Bruton said the campus would bring together start-ups and more established firms, as well as the research and development provided by DCU.

One firm committed to relocating to the campus is utilities and energy management company Dalkia, whose CEO is former Dublin football boss Pat Gilroy.

The campus is being provided lease free to DCU on the basis that it develops the hub at no cost to the exchequer.

Space on the site will also be allocated for an Educate Together school.

Mr Bruton said the initiative was a "great example of using scarce state resources in smart ways to drive job creation".

"This is a site that has had great tradition, the home traditionally of the Industrial Research and Standards Institute, and now once again it's taking up the challenge of creating a new economy, and a central part of it will be the green economy," he said.

Mr Bruton also announced a funding scheme for undergraduate students in DCU who want to start their own companies while in college. Teams of students will be able to access up to €10,000 in funding from the 'UStart' scheme.

Mr Bruton said it was aimed at fostering entrepreneurship in students, which was harder to "retrofit when someone has left education".

Irish Independent

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