€20m investment aims to make Dún Laoghaire a marine tech hub

2 Nov 2017

The site of the future Harbour Innovation Campus. Image: Robbie Reynolds

The Dún Laoghaire Ferry Terminal is setting sail for pastures new with plans to spend €20m to revamp it into a new tech hub.

Dún Laoghaire is to be the site of not one, but two tech hubs, with news that the town’s ferry terminal is to be revamped into a new space called the Harbour Innovation Campus.

The 75,000 sq ft space will host both local and international companies, with €20m to be spent over the course of the next 10 years on the site. Expecting to be up and running by the middle of 2018, the site could host up to 1,000 staff from various start-ups.

Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com, project lead Phillip Gannon said that unlike some of the other central Dublin tech hubs, the Harbour Innovation Campus will give priority to companies working on marine tech, given its “seaside views” of the Irish Sea.

“Dublin yearns for its own coastal innovation hub, and this is it,” Gannon said.

“Inside the Harbour Innovation Campus, founders, innovators and entrepreneurs will find several VC funds [and] a wide range of trained mentors and numerous business advisers, all focused on helping occupants to grow their businesses.”

Additional makerspace

The hub is also expected to provide a makerspace for creative prototype design in wood, metal, plastic and electronics as well as co-working spaces for people working remotely.

It is estimated the campus will create a significant increase in local employment with new jobs in restaurants, shops, facilities, administration, bars and cafés.

“This unique space presents a great opportunity to boost not only Dún Laoghaire and the surrounding areas, but the country as a whole,” added Gannon.

Just over a year ago, Dún Laoghaire welcomed its first major tech hub with the reveal of Digital Dún Laoghaire. Its aim is to generate hundreds of jobs for the area to replicate the success of other digital centres such as The Digital Hub in Dublin 8, while also bringing together a number of the town’s existing digital start-ups.

With additional reporting by Eva Short

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic