Trinity’s Grand Canal Innovation District advances with plans for Innovation Hub

The space, projected to be operational by 2022, will provide a “dedicated” space for various entrepreneurs and start-ups

Trinity has announced the first phase of its Grand Canal Innovation District (GCID), due for completion in 2022. 

The first phase, a proposed Innovation Hub, had its planning application sent in this week, with hopes for a public square and a collaborative space for enterprise and start-ups. 

The building of GCID will include an Innovation Hub, with meeting spaces for early start-ups and researching teams for corporations, with a view to activate the innovation community within Dublin. It will also include a new public square with a café and seating. 

An old landmark tower will also be incorporated into the new campus. 

The GCID, whose proposal was approved by the cabinet earlier this year, will drive the clustering of research institutions, businesses, educational institutions, high growth companies and creative startups in a rich, urban environment. 

The development of the GCID is supported by two government grants, namely the Regional Enterprise Development Fund through Enterprise Ireland and the Urban Regeneration Development Fund as part of Project Ireland 2040

Remarking on today’s announcement, Leo Varadkar, An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise commented: “I welcome today’s announcement that the first phase of the Innovation District will soon be in development.” 

Continuing, Mr Varadker outlined: “[When it was approved by Cabinet], we did so because of the critical role innovation will play in supporting the future of the Irish economy… Covid-19 has challenged our economy and GCID is an example of the kind of investment that will help our economy recover.” 

Welcoming the announcement on behalf of Trinity, Provost Patrick Prendergast remarked: “Dublin already has an extraordinary cluster of tech and life science companies, but we now need to bring those companies closer together to create an enterprise culture that encourages entrepreneurs to create new companies that will either become world players themselves or be the basis for expansion.” 

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland on the support Enterprise Ireland provided for the project: “The district will provide important collaboration space and opportunities for entrepreneurs… to develop innovative approaches to overcoming global challenges like urban living and climate change.”

In response to today’s announcement, Gareth Lambe, Vice-President of International Business planning & Operations and Head of Office at Facebook Office added: “Ireland is an important part of the Facebook story, and the establishment of the GCID is an exciting project which has the potential to further enhance Ireland’s attractiveness as a location for companies to establish and scale their business.”

Adam Balchin

Adam Balchin is Deputy Online Editor for Trinity News, and a Senior Sophister Law student.