Ideas Lab launched in Mayo

8 Apr 2008

An innovative new partnership between organisations in Co Mayo was launched yesterday with a view to spurring innovation in the county.

The aim of the ‘Ideas Lab’ in Belmullet is to stimulate additional entrepreneurial activity. The lab will be overseen by the Mayo County Development Board and is being led by WESTBIC, the Business and Innovation Centre for the Border, Midland and Western region.

The pilot project will be based in Belmullet with an initial focus on the Erris region.

“The Ideas Lab will focus on idea generation and evaluation, the first two steps in the innovation pipeline,” said Minister for Innovation Policy, Michael Ahern TD.

“Existing businesses, local education bodies and community organisations will all contribute to the Ideas Lab and all can avail of this new structured approach to innovation.

“Ideas emerging from this new project can be exploited by the structures already in place in Mayo, such as the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology Innovation in Business Centre in Castlebar, and benefit from the efforts of WESTBIC and other organisations nurturing innovation in Co Mayo,” added Minister Ahern.

The Ideas Lab is part of Mayo County Development Board’s 10-year integrated strategy for the cultural, social and economic development of Mayo.

“There are many examples from around the world which prove that geographical concentration of expertise, learning and resources can create a highly fertile environment for innovation,” said Ahern. “I hope this partnership will become an innovation ‘hot spot’ leading to tangible benefits to the economy in this area and perhaps a model to be emulated countrywide, and indeed, even throughout Europe.”

By Niall Byrne