Innovation centre to bring jobs to region

A research facility aimed at the financial services and eco-innovation was officially opened in Kilkenny yesterday by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The Kilkenny Research and Innovation Centre, located at St Kieran’s College, is a joint initiative between Waterford Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Carlow, and local authorities’ ‘Invest Kilkenny’ initiative. It is hoped the project will bring high-end jobs to the region.

The campus is an extension of WIT’s Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) and WIT’s ArcLabs, which is focused on creating high-potential start-up companies in the telecoms sector.

The Kilkenny campus will follow a similar model but with an emphasis on the crossover between information and communication technology in the financial sector.

Initially, there will be 20 research staff based in the centre, but it is expected this will increase significantly over time.

The head of research at WIT, Willie Donnelly, said the new centre would be able to use the latest technology to support innovation in the banking and finance sector.

“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.”

Mr Kenny, said the centre would help attract more investment into the region. “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,” he said.


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