€2.5m expansion to ArcLabs at Waterford Institute of Technology to drive economic growthWIT

€2.5m investment awarded to WIT by Enterprise Ireland will double the capacity to support technology-based start ups at ArcLabs Waterford

Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) has signed a €2.5m contract with Enterprise Ireland which will fund a significant expansion of its incubation facilities in ArcLabs Waterford. The 1,000m2 extension on its Carriganore campus will enable the Institute to double its capacity to support technology start-ups in the South East region.

Established almost 10 years ago ArcLabs is well known nationally and internationally for the unique incubation, research and enterprise support framework it provides to entrepreneurs and technology based start-ups. Home to more than 60 companies since its foundation ArcLabs has been a key driver in the development of an ICT/mobile services cluster which has emerged in the region over the last decade.

The co-location of entrepreneurs and technology based businesses in close proximity to one of Europe’s leading ICT research centres, the Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG), provides a research and innovation hub of more than 250 scientists, engineers and technology professionals on one site. This has proven to be a very powerful model in creating leading global Irish companies such as FeedHenry and NearForm as well as attracting in ICT based international companies into the region. Currently 27 companies are based in ArcLabs Waterford and Kilkenny employing more than 190 staff.

Kathryn Kiely, Manager of Industry Services at WIT and a member of the Arclabs Advisory Board has been closely involved in the development of Arclabs over the last 10 years and in the proposal development and contract negotiations with Enterprise Ireland.

She commented: “Through this €2.5m expansion we are doubling our capacity to attract entrepreneurs and start-ups to Waterford and the South East. At ArcLabs we support and develop the transformation of ideas and early stage technology into scalable, sustainable businesses. Over the past decade we have created an ideas, innovation and technology hub which offers an environment in which entrepreneurs, businesses and researchers can collaborate.”

Welcoming Enterprise Ireland’s investment WIT President Prof Willie Donnelly spoke of the importance of ArcLabs as a critical driver of future economic growth.

“Globally the emergence of the Internet of Things as a platform for the next generation of ICT companies provides a major opportunity for the South East. Through the expansion of ArcLabs in Waterford and its presence in Kilkenny, the region will be better positioned to build on the existing mobile services cluster and to exploit new growth opportunities in areas such as Agri-tech. This success is an important next step in the Institute’s plans for establishing an entrepreneurial platform which will accelerate the regional economic development as a global leader in the digital economy.”

Commenting on the announcement Declan Lyons, Manager, Technology Infrastructure Programmes in Enterprise Ireland noted the strong track record of Arclabs in creating technology based businesses with high-value jobs in the region and acknowledged that the expansion of ArcLabs incubation facilities will significantly contribute to achieving the target of the 30% increase in the number of start-ups in the South East.