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11/12/17 Cathaoirleach welcomes funding announcement for new Inishowen Digital Innovation Hub

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Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council has today welcomed confirmation that the new Inishowen Digital Innovation Hub has been successful in its application for funding under Stream 2 of Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Development Enterprise Fund.  Stream 2 sees projects being awarded grants of €250k up to €2m.


This new Digital Innovation Hub will be located in the former Buncrana Town Council offices and will provide a range of innovation, technology transfer and enterprise support services from LYIT/CoLab, IDA, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office to potential start-ups and to existing small businesses in more traditional sectors to help improve their processes, products, services, marketing and sales. 


This new hub will support further employment and job creation in Inishowen by increasing the level of digital innovation, education and training.  It will also help meet the local demand from small digital enterprises and entrepreneurs for small office and co-working space and the demand from multinational organisations for high quality, attractive e-work space.


Speaking following this announcement, Cathaoirleach Cllr. Gerry McMonagle said “this is great news for Donegal and especially for Buncrana and the Inishowen Peninsula.  This Digital Innovation Hub will see the former Buncrana Town Council office transformed into an attractive innovation space.  It will see the creation of a functioning innovation centre that will deliver a 3 year capacity building programme for enterprise resulting in increased levels of innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation”.


The Cathaoirleach also acknowledged the support and assistance provided by LYIT and Co-Lab who were instrumental in the development of this proposal.  Co-Lab which is based in Letterkenny on the LYIT campus is providing a stimulating and supportive environment enabling businesses to succeed and it is planned that this successful collaborative model will be mirrored in this new facility in Buncrana.


Cllr Jack Murray, Cathaoirleach of the Inishowen Municipal District thanked Enterprise Ireland for funding this initiative and paid tribute to ERNACT for their work in developing the successful business case for this project. 


“I am delighted to see that funding is being made available by Enterprise Ireland for the Inishowen Digital Innovation Hub and I would like to thank the management and staff in ERNACT who have worked closely with Donegal County Council and other key partners in developing this application for funding.  This was a substantial application and a lot of work has gone in to making a strong business case for this development”.


Head of Information Systems in Donegal County Council Brian Boyle says that “this initiative will complement the existing plans for the roll-out of broadband, and is one of the key actions of the Donegal Digital Action Plan which has identified Innovation Hubs as key drivers of Digital Innovation”.


He added “Donegal County Council has been working closely with a number of partner organisations in the public and private sector over the last number of years to deliver on a range of actions set out in the Donegal Digital Action Plan which aims to create additional start-ups in the tech sector in Donegal, encourage existing businesses to use digital processes, improve the county’s innovation potential by launching new research initiatives with the 3rd level sector and improve the digital skills of workers through delivery of new training courses”.


This new Inishowen Digital Innovation Hub will be co-funded by Donegal County Council and will be delivered using a partnership approach between Donegal County Council, Enterprise Ireland, LYIT/Co-Lab and ERNACT.

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