Minister for Finance Launches New Facility to Support Innovation

Minister for Finance Launches New Facility to Support Innovation – The Tierney Building – University of Limerick

Votechnik attended the launch of the Tierney Building, the University of Limericks new business incubation centre. Here they presented their new technology to the Minister for Finance who officially opened the building.

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UL President, Professor Don Barry, Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D. and Dr. Lisa O’ Donoghue, Votechnik

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D. officially opened the Tierney Building at University of Limerick on the 21st November 2011. This state-of-the-art campus facility will house UL’s Innovation Centre and Lero – the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre. The UL Innovation Centre is the latest Enterprise Ireland campus incubation centre to be opened and will support the formation and growth of 35 new high potential start-up (HPSU) companies between 2011 and 2016, generating over 115 new high-value jobs.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Noonan said: “The Tierney building will house both cutting-edge software engineering research together with a centre that will support the growth of new high potential business start-ups. It is a tangible example of what we can achieve when Government, industry and our universities collaborate together.”

“Over recent years Ireland has built up a very impressive record in scientific research. If we are to get out of our present difficulties, we must now use this base to commercialise more ideas, create more Irish businesses, and attract and embed more multinational investment. Turning good ideas into good jobs: that is what SFI’s research centres, such as the Lero CSET, and funded teams are about, and that is what I am determined to achieve.” Minister Noonan added.

The objective of the UL Innovation Centre is to increase regional entrepreneurship with an international trading focus. It will provide dedicated business incubation space and support services for start-up companies whose activities are aligned with UL research strengths. The UL Innovation Centre offers dedicated units for supporting new technology based businesses together with two fully equipped research laboratory suites, boardrooms, meeting rooms and ancillary support services. The centre will facilitate the transformation of new knowledge into commercially viable opportunities and become a hub around which regional innovation is driven, organised and supported.

UL President, Professor Don Barry said: “UL started out with a pioneering vision of innovation, excellence and a commitment to building strong industry collaborations. We are now even more focused on research that can assist companies enhance their own research and development capabilities and support them in obtaining or maintaining a competitive advantage in the market place.  We will continue to uncover the emerging technological opportunities we have here in Ireland, to nurture those with high economic impact and growth potential and to support them in achieving success.”

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Image: Dan Tierney, UL President, Professor Don Barry and 
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D at the launch of the Tierney Building, UL.

 

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Vice President Research, Dr Mary Shire said: “UL has a strong track record in spin-out companies and has gained experience through this that will benefit start-up companies that locate in the innovation centre. A focus of the Innovation Centre is to further collaboration between entrepreneurs and UL’s research community to drive innovation which will deliver high value jobs and enterprise to the region.”

Feargal  Ó Móráin Executive Director of Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland is working to maximise opportunities for Irish entrepreneurs around the country. We provide the relevant support at a local level to meet the increasing challenges faced by new, young companies in the global marketplace.  Incubation centres greatly improve the survival and growth prospects of start-up campus companies.  Enterprise Ireland has invested €50 million in campus incubation centres which between them house 300 companies, employing over 1,300 people.”

The Tierney Building is home to the new headquarters of Lero – the software engineering research centre. Lero has raised the level and profile of Irish software engineering research with such effect that it is now one of the best known and highly regarded software engineering research centres in the world. Lero interfaces with a wide range of industry, state agencies, educational bodies and international collaborators to deliver on its twin goals of research excellence and social and economic relevance.
Professor Mike Hinchey, Director, Lero said; “This building provides a home and focal point for Lero researchers from multiple institutions and a venue for engaging with our industry partners, international collaborators and government agencies. We are delighted to have such an excellent facility and look forward to the expansion of our research here in the coming years.”

This project has been supported by the Irish Government with assistance of the European Regional Development Fund through PRTLI 4, Enterprise Ireland, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Higher Education Authority. The Tierney Building is kindly supported by Dr Dan Tierney. Originally from Limerick, Dr Tierney has been a Director of the UL Foundation since 1993.  He is Chairman of Bimeda Holdings Plc.