| 6.4°C Dublin

Tech hotspot: Fexco's new €21m R&D hub to grow startup cluster in Killorglin

Close

Boost: Fexco boss Denis McCarthy and Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon at the hub’s launch

Boost: Fexco boss Denis McCarthy and Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon at the hub’s launch

Boost: Fexco boss Denis McCarthy and Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon at the hub’s launch

Fexco has opened a €21m R&D centre at its Killorglin, Co Kerry base that will also become an incubator for dozens of tech startups employing and training many hundreds of people.

The fintech firm said 125 of its 1,000 Killorglin staff would work in the new 57,000 sq ft (5,300 sq m) building as it becomes Fexco's global R&D, innovation and IT centre. It occupies the former site of the Simpson Strong-Tie Liebig factory, which shut down in 2012.

But 20,000 sq ft of the building will host the RDI Hub - short for Research, Development and Innovation - involving Kerry County Council and the Institute of Technology in Tralee.

Enterprise Ireland provided €3.6m toward the costs of creating the not-for-profit hub. Its growth plan calls for creating more than 35 local startups that produce 305 jobs, as well as spots for 1,300 trainees and 140 apprentices, by 2024.

Fexco said neighbouring a startup cluster would deliver "increased availability of specialised labour and knowledge spill-overs".

"The basis of the partnership is to help to create new high-end jobs in Kerry, through building on the strength of Fexco in IT and software development," said Fexco CEO Denis McCarthy.

He said Fexco's expansion and the RDI Hub would "help to attract other large corporates to the area".

Enterprise Ireland chief executive Julie Sinnamon said: "Fexco and RDI Hub will help strengthen the south west's position as a globally connected financial services and ICT skills hotspot."

Since October, the RDI Hub has been seeking startup proposals from local and overseas entrepreneurs, small firms, academics, local authorities and public sector bodies.

Fexco, founded in Killorglin in 1981, employs 1,500 people outside Ireland in 28 countries.

Indo Business