An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD has formally launched the new Origin8 innovation centre at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin to create greater links between projects and industry.
The centre will house a number of campus spin-out companies that are working to establish their businesses. Two companies, Gazel (contemporary homeware) and Obeo (food waste recycling), are already working from the new centre, with a further two expected to be announced in the coming months.
Along with these spin-out companies, 50 collaborations with industry partners are also already under way at the Origin8 centre, including the healthcare production company Hollister and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Two guests who attended the launch included Lorna Ross, director of design at the US-based Mayo Clinic, and Paul Adams, head of product design at Intercom, the high-potential Irish start-up that has attracted €22m in investment and aims to become a billion-dollar company.
Speaking at the launch of the new centre, Prof Declan McGonagle, director of the NCAD, said the aim of Origin8 is to bring together top-quality designers, researchers and industry partners in an environment they hope will foster innovation and knowledge sharing.
“Over the past two years, NCAD has collaborated with industry on almost 100 design-focused projects,” said McGonagle.
“We want to expose our students and our researchers to real-world environments and give them the opportunity to collaborate with leading industry players in developing market-ready products and services. This is essential in ensuring that when they leave NCAD they are highly skilled, work ready and have skills that are transferable from sector to sector.”