DCU beats London site in battle for top digital partnership
Europe's largest co-working and digital innovation network - Talent Garden - has selected DCU ahead of London for its new campus.
Talent Garden (Tag) Dublin will provide capacity for 350 work spaces, the Talent Garden Innovation School, multiple corporate innovation labs, a large event space, and an Italian-themed café/restaurant.
It will be located at DCU Alpha, the university's innovation campus.
The new venture will provide work space and networking opportunities and for start-ups and larger corporates - but crucially, this will be combined with educational opportunities in association with DCU.
The innovation school will provide a digital skills 'bootcamp' education platform, which will work in partnership with DCU Business School to upskill entrepreneurs and assist corporates on their 'digital transformation journeys'.
It is understood the DCU campus was the preferred location for Tag, coming ahead of a location in London, after working closely with the university and IDA.
The fact that, apart from Malta, Ireland will be the only English-speaking country in the EU after the UK leaves also had some influence on the decision.
Talent Garden was founded six years ago by CEO Davide Dattoli and is now the largest European co-working and digital innovation network, with 23 campuses across Europe in cities such as Milan, Barcelona and Vienna. A new campus will be opening in San Francisco later this year.
Mr Dattoli met DCU president Brian MacCraith at its Milan campus on Monday ahead of the announcement.
"As Ireland will soon be the largest English-speaking member of the eurozone and is already the leading HQ for many of the global tech companies we work with, Talent Garden are very excited to bring our unique digital innovation and co-working model to Ireland.
"In DCU, we have found a university partner with the same entrepreneurial DNA and ambition as Talent Garden, which made the selection process easy," he said.
Talent Garden's partnership with DCU places the university "at the epicentre of the technological transformation taking place in Ireland and across Europe", said Mr MacCraith.
"Through this unique DCU-Talent Garden partnership, Talent Garden Dublin goes way beyond co-working as it is currently understood in Ireland and into the fields of accredited digital skills training, corporate digital transformation, as well as creating excellent connectivity for Irish start-ups looking to scale up in other markets internationally," he added.
It is thought Talent Garden Dublin will appeal to early-stage start-ups and larger corporate "innovation labs". Work will begin immediately on the fit-out of the Talent Garden Dublin building which is expected to be completed by September.