Dublin plans innovation district to make city “tech capital of Europe”

A report published by Ireland’s government has laid out recommendations for the development of the Dublin’s Grand Canal Innovation District, with the aim of making the city the "tech capital of Europe".

Announced in 2018, the Grand Canal Innovation District is based on similar initiatives in Barcelona, Boston, and Rotterdam, and aims to improve connections between academia, established businesses and start-ups.

The development will link to Trinity College Dublin’s planned Grand Canal Quay campus.

An advisory group led by the secretary general to the government will support the development, and will represent local businesses, universities and the community.

The report recommends:

  • Creating a university innovation campus at the centre of the Grand Canal Innovation District
  • Putting a large start-up hub with shared infrastructure in the district
  • Starting a community liaison group
  • Creating an innovation hub network linking the centre with other regional leading innovation centres.

Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s taoiseach, said: "We are really serious about making Ireland the tech capital of Europe. We have so many of the right ingredients: a young and talented workforce, a competitive corporate tax environment and of course many of the world’s top tech firms already have their European headquarters here.

"Now, we are bringing together business, government and the university sector to maximise the Silicon Docks as an innovation district where companies, researchers and entrepreneurs link up.  

"This first report from the advisory group has lots of good recommendations which must now be acted on; from establishing a new start-up hub with shared infrastructure to the need to work closely with the local community to ensure their needs are met as the area continues to expand."

Image courtesy of the Grand Canal Innovation District/Trinity College Dublin

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