WIT’s ArcLabs doubles after new €2.5m extension

15 Nov 2019

Image: © mchis67/Stock.adobe.com

The ArcLabs hub in Waterford currently houses 33 start-ups, early-stage companies and entrepreneurs.

Today (15 November), a new extension to the ArcLabs innovation hub at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) was unveiled, doubling the size of the facility.

With a €2.5m investment from Enterprise Ireland, a 1,000 sq metre extension has been built and was officially opened today by Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan, TD.

Based on WIT’s west campus, overlooking the Waterford Greenway, ArcLabs was established in 2005 to create an environment of entrepreneurship and innovation where academic research, enterprise supports and regional stakeholders could meet and make ideas work.

ArcLabs currently houses 33 start-ups, early-stage companies and entrepreneurs. In addition, the New Frontiers Programme and the NDRC at ArcLabs accelerator programme are also run from the centre. The facility played a crucial role in attracting the NDRC to establish an accelerator in the south-east of the country.

At the launch of the facility’s extension, ArcLabs manager Dr Aisling O’Neill said: “We are so grateful for this support from Enterprise Ireland in the south-east, which has enabled us to double our incubation capacity in our west campus site, enabling us to increase our impact in supporting entrepreneurship in the region.

“We look forward to continuing to foster our relationship with Enterprise Ireland, which is instrumental to realising the ambition of ArcLabs to support a truly sustainable regional economy in south-east Ireland.”

Promoting regional business ideas

Martin Corkery from Enterprise Ireland commented: “Supporting regionally based businesses across a variety of sectors to start, scale and expand their reach in overseas markets is a core objective of Enterprise Ireland’s work.

“There are already indigenous businesses at varying stages in their development that are utilising the ArcLabs facility to step up and seize the opportunities for growth by driving research and innovation, which is encouraging to see.”

“By investing €2.5m in the opening of the extension to the hub at WIT’s west campus, Enterprise Ireland is focused on nurturing and promoting even more of the new and unique business ideas being developed in the region.”

Halligan noted the significant contributions that the centre has already made to the local economy in the south-east. “This is a truly momentous achievement for all involved and I look forward to seeing what future success stories will emerge from ArcLabs,” he added.

Following the success of the ArcLabs expansion in attracting digital technology companies to its campus, WIT now plans to work on similar initiatives to attract the development of more life sciences and engineering companies to the south-east.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic