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Cork Independent

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Over €6m awarded to 3 Cork projects

Wednesday, 15th January, 2020 5:06pm

Three projects in Cork have been awarded over €6m in funding through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, including a new life sciences research and development hub.

CorkBioHub picked up €3.063m from the third round of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, an open national competitive call to support regional projects, delivered for the Government through Enterprise Ireland.

Twenty-six successful applicants from all over the country secured just over €40m, including two other projects in Cork: the digital hub Seirbhísí Forbartha Gnó (€2.7m) and creative hub Benchspace Cork (€342k).

The winners were selected through a rigorous evaluation process based on criteria which included impacts and value for money, collaboration and participation, viability and sustainability, building regional strengths and significance for innovation.

Enterprise Ireland Regional Director for the South and South East, Martin Corkery said: “The emphasis in our Powering the Regions plan which was published in 2019 is very much on strengthening the existing ecosystem across Cork and Kerry to help improve research and technology capabilities in the whole region.

“The Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) is an initiative that helps us to further drive growth in well performing sectors in the south, particularly in the context of Britain’s impending exit from the European Union among other global trade challenges.

“When fully utilized, the REDF can support those working together in communities nationwide to build on its unique strengths and ultimately create sustainable jobs.”

CorkBioHub

The not-for-profit SynBioHub DAC (trading as CorkBioHub) will act as a one-stop-shop for attracting, anchoring and retaining early stage life science companies in the south west. The hub will accommodate 20 start-up companies at a time, in shared laboratory space accompanied by extensive technical and business services.

The hub will act as a central point in growing a vibrant and synergistic life sciences ecosystem that it is hoped will help to spawn multiple Irish-owned SMEs and yield thousands of jobs.

UCC and Cork County Council are the key founding partners of CorkBioHub, in addition to multiple regional enterprise and academic entities.

CorkBioHub Co-Director Dr Mark Tangney said: “The funding afforded through Enterprise Ireland will act as a catalytic enabler to the success of the CorkBioHub in supporting the growth of the indigenous biology-based start-up sector in Cork. We want to thank all of our partners in the project who are making this possible.”

CorkBioHub co-director Prof Tommie McCarthy added: “This will be an international biohub, which is based in Cork in order to leverage the life science strengths available in the region.”

UCC President Prof Patrick O’Shea said: “Innovation and entrepreneurship are core aspects of the UCC mission engrained in our strategic plan and we believe that the CorkBioHub has the potential to act as a key step-change in contributing and realising this vision in the life sciences.”

Cork County Council Chief Executive Tim Lucey said: “Cork County Council is delighted to be a key strategic and founding partner with UCC of CorkBioHub, which will develop and animate a synergistic ecosystem for accelerated growth of early-stage life science companies through disruptive innovation, facilitated by a state of the art integrated one-stop-shop biohub.”

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