Minister for Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD and Maynooth University President, Professor Philip Nolan.
A new €20.6 million Eolas building at Maynooth University was officially opened by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD this week. The state-of-the art facility will serve as a “research powerhouse” that will drive innovative teaching methods, foster collaboration with industry and deepen a culture of ‘spin-out’ companies, according to Maynooth University President, Professor Philip Nolan.
“As a hub for the fields of information and communication technology,” Prof Nolan said at the opening, “Eolas will break down the boundaries that too often exist between academia and enterprise — and between students and the world of work.”
Eolas houses two of the University’s world-renowned research institutes, the Hamilton Institute and the Innovation Value Institute. It is also home to the University’s new business incubator.
The building is the latest in a series of campus development projects at Maynooth University, and Prof Nolan called Eolas “the kind of smart development that will only continue to elevate the quality and impact of the research and teaching at Maynooth”.
“Whether it’s inspiring students who pass by conversations about the latest start-up on their way to class, or it’s a new company setting up shop near the students it hopes will one day fill their skills gap, Eolas is about facilitating connections and driving ICT innovation. This kind of magic only happens when people come together. From its functionality and design to the quality of the work going on under its roof, Eolas is becoming a natural hub not only for the University’s ICT academics and industry partners, but for the very robust ICT community within this region,” Prof Nolan said.
The launch of MaynoothWorks reflects the strong role the University’s Commercialisation Office plays as an engine of economic growth in Dublin and the Midlands region. Three recent Maynooth University spin-outs alone have raised more than €20 million in investment and created 50 jobs.
MaynoothWorks already has five client companies, including Verifly, the latest venture from Hailo co-founder Jay Bregman, which provides web and mobile applications for recreational drone users; Accuplex Diagnostics, an early-stage diagnostics company which is already selling product internationally aimed at treating both human and equine conditions; and Avectas, which develops technology in pursuit of in-vivo diagnostic and therapeutic applications with a current focus on oncology.
MaynoothWorks received €1.6 million in funding from Enterprise Ireland. Enterprise Ireland Research and Innovation Manager Gearoid Mooney said co-locating academia and industry is a proven recipe for success. “The sparks of creativity that come about when entrepreneurs have ready access to research talent and potential employees have been seen the world over. Enterprise Ireland is committed to developing campus-based incubation centres and MaynoothWorks has all the elements necessary to make a real impact,” he said.