Having received the lion’s share of funding last year, Limerick is a vibrant and fast-growing sci-tech hub in Ireland.
You’d have been forgiven only a few years ago for thinking that Ireland’s sci-tech focal points are siloed off in the four main points of the island: Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast.
But, the entire island boasts a rich tapestry of science, pharma and technology, both in terms of talent and opportunity.
Data from TechIreland, which is part of baseline research on tech sectors and regions in Ireland, was released earlier this year showing the impressive rise of regional tech hubs. The data showed one of the strongest of those was Limerick.
While Cork celebrated the largest number of tech companies in the report, Limerick captured the largest amount of funding in 2017 with €72.7m raised by seven companies.
The region is particularly active in enterprise, green energy, IoT and medtech, with global giants such as BD, AMCS and Arralis set up in the region.
Limerick is also home to Three, Analog Devices, Virgin Media, Kemp Technologies, Dell and Uber as well as financial services giants such as Northern Trust.
Further plans for growth
While the extensive opportunities and companies already established could be enough to convince anyone to relocate, the region is continuing to develop with the Limerick Twenty Thirty programme.
This will give the city about €500m worth of investment infrastructure across four strategic sites. The plan includes the redevelopment of the previously derelict Opera Site, which aims to attract digital investments and job creation projects.
Another area of growth within Limerick is in sports. Last summer, the SportsTech Ireland initiative was set up to develop sports technology research and business growth. This initiative builds on efforts to create a National Sports Cluster in Limerick and its surrounding area.
While the region is an irrefutable tech hub within Ireland, it’s scientific backbone can’t be ignored. At a higher level, Limerick is home to University of Limerick (UL), which launched a unique €2m underwater robot at the docks earlier this month.
UL is also home to the award-winning Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) software research centre Lero.
Also streamlining the region’s education is Limerick Institute of Technology, which last year received planning permission to construct a major new campus at Coonagh.
Additionally, Limerick is making waves at a younger level when it comes to STEM education through the combined efforts of the Learning Hub and Science Hub, which work primarily with primary school children, their teachers and parents to deliver engaging and exciting experiences of STEM. Limerick’s focus on STEM education at a young age will help the city develop its own healthy pipeline of sci-tech talent in the future and the success of this focus is already showing in those children.
Jobs in Limerick
When we talk about growing talent pipelines, we have to think about the jobs these pipelines will fuel. Furthermore, if you’re thinking about relocating, you’ll want to know about the jobs and opportunities that are available.
Well, if we reflect on 2017, Limerick is growing from strength to strength when it comes to jobs. Of the sci-tech jobs announced across the province of Munster in 2017, 43pc of them were based in Limerick.
One of the biggest announcements of the year was pharma giant Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which revealed 300 new positions for its Limerick site.
Turning to this year, the job opportunities that have been announced paint a very bright picture.
Once again, the region’s medtech sector is thriving as Edwards Lifesciences is to create 600 new jobs in Ireland’s mid-west as part of a major €80m investment. The medtech giant has its eye three sites in Limerick and Shannon.
Earlier in the year, high-voltage specialist firm H&MV announced its search for engineers, electricians, graduates and project managers at its Limerick HQ.
It’s safe to say that the future for this Munster region is incredibly bright and for those looking to move within the world of pharma, medtech, science or technology, Limerick is a thriving hub for top talent.
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