€4m enterprise centre to create hundreds of jobs

A NEW enterprise incubation centre on a third-level campus is poised to create hundreds of jobs.

The €4 million Rubicon Centre on the grounds of Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), which will be officially opened today, provides a base for high potential, knowledge-based start-up companies.

It took on its first clients in February, is fully occupied by 14 companies and has created 58 jobs — most of those are graduates or post-graduates of CIT.

The companies are involved in a wide range of work from designing software solutions for the forestry and timber sector to the development of new semi-conductors.

Each of the companies will have more than 10 employees, will have a turnover in excess of €1m and will export their products.

As the companies develop hundreds of more jobs are expected to be created.

The Rubicon Centre offers ready-to-go serviced office units to the companies for a 12-month period.

Centre manager Paul Healy said: “We offer everything a modern business requires.”

Its facilities include a seminar room with hi-tech audio-visual facilities, meeting rooms, a range of business supports as well as regular training and networking events.

It is jointly financed by CIT and Enterprise Ireland.

CIT’s Genesis programme, which provides encouragement to entrepreneurs, also has links with the centre. It provides the 14 companies on start-up programmes with support.

CIT’s development office brought together a team to design, build and launch the centre.

CIT’s head of development, Michael Delaney, said it was designed to meet the needs of indigenous and multinational companies looking to launch businesses into the market place, using CIT as their base.

“Seven of the companies located in the Rubicon have already begun partnerships with CIT, in the form of collaborative research and development, student placements and the development of joint funding proposals for future co-operation together,” he said.

Some companies have also secured market opportunities both in Ireland and abroad, including the lucrative US market. Most of their funding comes from Enterprise Ireland and the Enterprise Boards, but several companies have secured private funding.

The centre will be officially opened by Enterprise Minister Micheál Martin this afternoon.

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