On Thursday 24 May 2012, An Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny T.D., officially opened the Kilkenny Research and Innovation Centre, a world class facility which will be at the cutting edge of next generation internet development for the financial services sector and for eco-innovation.
The new centre, located at St. Kieran's College in Kilkenny, is a joint initiative between Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), Institute of Technology Carlow (ITC) and the Kilkenny Local Authorities "Invest Kilkenny" campaign and will lead to the creation of high quality jobs in the region.
The initiative has evolved from WIT's Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) and WIT's ArcLabs, who created a research and innovation eco-system for High Potential Start-Ups (HPSU) in Waterford. The Kilkenny Centre will mirror that model by creating a hub for ICT expertise and for next generation internet development for companies in the finance, banking and insurance sectors.
The Centre will build on the ground breaking international track record of TSSG; WIT's and ITC's joint entrepreneur development programme New Frontiers, the expertise available in ITC’s GameCORE and their new Interreg-funded INSPIRE Programme.
Twenty research staff will be based in the new research centre, and this number is expected to increase significantly over time.
An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny, T.D, said at today's launch: "This centre will help attract in new business and jobs to the region. New research and innovation in conjunction with a stable and supportive business environment is a winning formula for economic growth and jobs. By protecting economic stability we can continue to attract in new investment and opportunities for the South East region."
Dr. Willie Donnelly, Head of Research at WIT said "The creation of a one-stop shop model in Kilkenny will provide direct access to TSSG's world class research, ICT hardware and knowledge base and will support the finance operations of major companies as well as the banking, finance and insurance companies in relation to next generation internet services and systems and in relation to mobile phone technology. It will also provide incubation space for entrepreneurs in the ICT sector."
Dr. Donal Ormonde, Chairman of WIT said: "In the information society, companies are constantly looking to source highly qualified graduates and new knowledge which can be innovated to produce new products and services. Both WIT and ITC have created major economic impact in the region through their frameworks for entrepreneurial training and support."
Mr. John Moore, Chairman of ITC said: "This collaborative initiative will draw on the collective research, development and innovation ICT expertise in the two South East Institutes of Technology at Carlow and Waterford. The primary objective is the provision of a supportive environment for the creation of new high-growth knowledge-based industry in Kilkenny and improved access to high quality expertise for existing local and regional companies.
According to Joe Crockett, Kilkenny City and County Manager: "The investment in the Research and Innovation Centre establishes Kilkenny for the first time as an important centre for ICT and establishes new national capability for internationally traded services and more specifically for the finance, banking and insurance sectors. The centre will be a new resource and attraction for ICT and finance operations of all major companies.
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