Saturday 17 March 2018

Hub wants tech firms to 'scale and stay'

St Patrick’s Tower at the Digital Hub – there has been a call to increase the available office space
St Patrick’s Tower at the Digital Hub – there has been a call to increase the available office space
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Dublin's Digital Hub, in the heart of the capital's Liberties area, wants to encourage more companies to scale up their businesses and then remain in the area.

Fiach MacConghail, CEO of the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA), told the Irish Independent that the agency has 70,000 sq ft available, with an occupancy rate in the high 90pc range.

Mr MacConghail has previously stated that he would like to see the amount of office space available at the Digital Hub to double within two to five years.

"The Digital Hub has a particular remit, which is looking at the Liberties and the Dublin 8 area in terms of a number of objectives," he said.

"One of them is to strengthen the cluster of companies. We're the largest digital and technology cluster in Ireland. So we see a lot of trends and see a lot of scope there for increasing the number of success stories we've had.

"Increasing our office space would enable us to encourage more companies to scale and to stay in Dublin 8. At the moment, as they scale, they leave and go somewhere else.

"We'd like to retain a few more of the success stories in the Dublin 8 area. We also want to diversify the types of digital companies that are here."

The Digital Hub was established in 2003, and previous tenants have included Amazon and payments giant Stripe, which was established by the billionaire Limerick brothers, John and Patrick Collison, in 2010.

There are currently close to 100 companies and organisations based at the Digital Hub, employing more than 700 people.

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Apart from startup firms, the hub is also home to international tech firms such as Eventbrite, Lonely Planet and RT, the international broadcaster backed by the Russian government.

The DHDA is about to embark on the development a new five-year strategy, and following a tender process will draft an outside contractor to facilitate the drafting of that strategy.

"There is a huge demand for office space," said Mr MacConghail. "Dublin 8 is an attractive place to work because it's a living community. It's an attraction we have over Silicon Docks."

Trinity College is also planning to build a huge, €1bn tech hub in Dublin city centre, that it says will act as a "global talent magnet" for the capital, and Ireland.

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, right beside the European headquarters of giants such as Facebook, Google and Airbnb.

Irish Independent

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