Kerry’s RDI Hub plans expansion after reaching €12m milestone

9 Mar 2023

RDI Hub. Image: Donal Murphy Photography

The technology and research hub said its members have collectively raised €12m in funding since the site opened in 2020.

The RDI Hub plans to expand to meet growing demand and offer new media production services for its members.

The technology and research hub plans to add 50 new spaces to its location in Killorglin by the end of the year, nearly doubling its capacity. This expansion also includes a digital media lab with podcast and video recording facilities, to let businesses create their own media assets on-site.

The hub, backed by Fexco, Munster Technological University and Kerry County Council, launched in January 2020 to drive design-led innovation, facilitate R&D and nurture entrepreneurs in the fintech sector.

Since opening, the hub said more than 50 companies use the site and have collectively raised €12m in funding. These companies have also created 250 jobs and developed 29 new products and services in a three-year period.

The members include global companies such as Liebherr, Glencar Construction, Helgen Technologies and Taxamo, which was acquired by Vertex in 2021 for $200m. The hub has seen 16 companies join over the past year, giving an incentive to expand the site’s capacity.

RDI Hub CEO Liam Cronin said the site has helped to “transform the innovation ecosystem” in the south west of Ireland, despite the impacts that were faced after launch with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are delighted to mark the latest milestone in the evolution of the RDI Hub and announce further investment which will enable us to build on the incredible work in developing and scaling companies of all sizes and sectors,” Cronin said.

“We have realised our vision by creating a unique environment for business to flourish and we are very excited about our ever-expanding programme of activity in the years ahead.”

Fexco COO Karl Aherne said the RDI Hub is “crucial” for the organisation’s future innovation plans, as it has helped foster “breakthroughs in robotics, AI, the metaverse and conventional industries such as construction, agriculture and tourism”.

“It has progressed from being an innovation hub to a dynamic ecosystem that fosters creativity, novel technologies and a collaborative hybrid culture,” Aherne said.

As co-working hubs surged in popularity last year, spoke to some of the people who manage and rely on them, including RDI Hub’s community and members manager.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic