The government has today approved plans to provide €150 million of funding over the next 10 years towards a new Trinity technology campus.
The new campus is to be located on Grand Canal Quay, where College already own an area of land. The site is close to the offices of several multinational tech companies in the area of Dublin referred to as the Silicon Docks.
The development of the new campus is to make up part of the formation of a “Grand Canal Innovation District” in the area, which will aim to encourage interaction between Irish and multinational companies, academic researchers from both Irish and international universities, venture capitalists, and start-ups.
The district will be developed over a 10-year time span and it is estimated will cost around £1 billion, the majority of which is to be provided by developers, Trinity, and philanthropic and corporate grants and donations.
However, Trinity hopes to see the opening of an innovation hub in the area as early as 2020, which it says will provide space for early stage start-ups, research active corporates, and a dedicated programme of activities for people who live in the local community.
Welcoming the announcement today from the government of €150 million to go towards the project, Provost Patrick Prendergast said that public funding was crucial to unlock investment and support from the private sector.
He stated that “Ireland’s ability to continue to attract investment and grow its own successful global businesses is intrinsically linked to the amount of research and innovation originating from within the country. We have seen from other cities around the globe that innovation districts help to raise the amount of research undertaken in a country and that research universities are the key determining factor in ensuring that research and innovation is nurtured and fostered.”
The provost added that Trinity’s new campus “will be dedicated to ensuring the success of the district” and will become “a focal point” for the new district, “creating a space where other universities, start-ups, funders and established businesses can come together to drive innovation”.
Dr Diarmuid O’Brien, Chief Innovation and Enterprise Officer at Trinity, compared the Grand Canal Innovation District to other dedicated innovation hubs around Europe, stating that it will “change Ireland’s story just as Station F has transformed the international view of Paris as a location for start-ups or the Crick Institute has established London as the global leader in Life Sciences”.
Trinity have also suggested that establishing the district will help position Ireland for future investment in what they describe as “an unsettled post-Brexit environment”.