Digital Hub expected to operate ‘at least until the end of the decade’

2 Aug 2022

Digital Hub CEO Fiach Mac Conghail. Image: Digital Hub

Although the Government announced plans to dissolve the Digital Hub last year, it may be sticking around until at least 2030.

Dublin’s Digital Hub has welcomed 19 new and returning companies to its campus in the first six months of 2022 as it expects to be operating until “at least the end of this decade”.

Based in the historic Liberties neighbourhood of Dublin 8, the Digital Hub has been home to many start-ups and SMEs since its launch in 2003 – including Stripe, Slack and Havok.

In April of last year, the Government decided to dissolve the Digital Hub and transfer assets to the Land Development Agency (LDA).

It would facilitate an “orderly wind-down” of the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA), the State agency set up to manage the Digital Hub campus, while future plans for the 5.6-acre site were mapped out.

At the time, the campus was home to about 30 companies, including pioneering robotics team Akara Robotics.

An agreement was reached last November between the DHDA and the Government that would see the Digital Hub host tenant companies until at least 2025.

Now, Digital Hub CEO Fiach Mac Conghail has told that he anticipates “we will be operating as the Digital Hub until at least the end of this decade”.

“It is important that our lands are effectively used until such time as they are ready for affordable housing, and that is a view shared by all involved in the process. In particular, we want to avoid dereliction in our city and a meanwhile use for our land is for the benefit of the wider community,” he said.

Digital hub a ‘location of choice’

Of the 19 companies welcomed to the Digital Hub so far this year, 11 are new tenants, six are companies that had left recently and have now returned, and two are longer-term alumni that have decided to return.

DHDA had warned the Government during the pandemic that it may need emergency supports as clients were struggling to pay rent during the pandemic. Now, many are getting back to workspaces in a hybrid fashion.

“The events of the past two years have signalled a fundamental shift in working practices, and the flexibility and collegiality of the Digital Hub campus is proving to be location of choice for both technology companies, creative industries and community organisations,” Mac Conghail said.

The new companies have agreed to lease more than 9,000 sq ft of office space and will employ at least 50 people.

This brings the number of member companies now resident at the Digital Hub to 46, up from 29 at the start of the year. Collectively, they employ more than 300 people.

One of the new companies is Arenametrix, a French software company specialising in services for sporting and cultural organisations. The company will use the Digital Hub as its new Irish base.

Also joining the hub is ZenaDrone, a Canadian tech firm providing drone services for the agritech sector. Campsited, CB Media, Eclipse Pictures, Alone, Allgo, Bitcoin Marketing Team and Wattics are some of the returning companies.

Mac Conghail told that the Digital Hub has been collaborating with the LDA and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications to better understand the timeframe for the campus’s dissolution.

“[We] would hope that the legacy we have created in the Liberties since 2003 will continue in some form once there is a clearer picture on the masterplan for our lands. Our location is a prime example of what a 15-minute city concept could look like, and I look forward to what the future holds for the Liberties,” he said.

Disclosure: Silicon Republic is a previous tenant of the Digital Hub.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic