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Minister Bruton announces €3m expansion funding for MIRC at AIT

Published: 23rd February 2016

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, has today announced funding for the expansion of the Midlands Innovation and Research Centre (MIRC) at Athlone Institute of Technology

The 1,135 square metre expansion is supported by an investment of €3 million by Enterprise Ireland with the balance of funding from AIT. Enterprise Ireland also supported the establishment of the MIRC in 2004.

Working in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, the MIRC provides incubation facilities for innovative and knowledge-based enterprise, an enterprise programme for entrepreneurs and start-ups (the New Frontiers Programme), and makes available the resources and expertise of AIT to support client companies and enterprise in the region. The MIRC has supported 151 knowledge-based start-ups to date.

Expanded MIRC facilities will be key to achieving targets in the Midlands Action Plan for Jobs to increase the number of entrepreneurs/start-ups in the region by 25% in the coming years, improve the 5-year survival rate by 25% and improve scaling performance of companies by 25%.

Attending the MIRC today, Minister Bruton said "The Midlands Innovation and Research Centre is an excellent example of a facility that helps nurture and grow innovative enterprises and create jobs regionally. An investment of this nature is a central element of our Regional Action Plans for Jobs where we are determined to invest in, and develop, the capacity of all regions to create clusters of strength and to have sustainable job creation in those regions for years to come.”

President of AIT, Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, said “The planned MIRC expansion is a vital element in AIT’s institutional strategy – working in partnership with Enterprise Ireland - to significantly increase the number of high-growth knowledge-intensive export-focused businesses in the Midlands. Expanded MIRC facilities represent a key driver of our strategy for economic development in the region.”

The new extension of the Athlone Institute of Technology incubator is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation through Enterprise Ireland. This new facility is an important component of the Midlands Action Plan for Jobs and will strengthen the entrepreneurship cluster and capabilities of startup companies in the region. 

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