Waterford Enterprise Centre to benefit from €8.24m funding announced by Tánaiste

Arclabs Research and Innovation Centre was awarded €120,000

· news

Friday the 20th of November: The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, today announced €8.24m in grants for 95 Enterprise Centres around the country under Enterprise Ireland’s Enterprise Centres Fund. Arclabs Research and Innovation Centre in Waterford Institute of Technology’s West Campus was awarded €120,000.

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Enterprise Centres are embedded in communities in every county in the country. They provide space and training for entrepreneurs, allowing them to work remotely, access training and advice, and network with other business leaders.

This funding will be crucial to Arclabs in WIT as they continue to offer services to local businesses during what is an exceptionally difficult time. It will allow the centre to continue its hugely valuable mission to support entrepreneurship in the South East. The €120,000 will go towards upgrading facilities and technology and will provide comprehensive video conferencing facilities to support the increased virtual engagement which will continue to be used by the ArcLabs team and clients into the future. Furthermore, the funding will support the roll out of a comprehensive recovery programme for ArcLabs (current and prospective) clients to ensure the sustainability of enterprise at this time of crisis. With increased capacity in the centre, Arclabs are widening eligibility criteria to welcome people in the region who may be working from home currently and would like to return to an office environment.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: “I am really pleased to make this funding available through my Department. It will help enterprise centres all over the country to modernise their facilities protecting the health and safety of people who work there and helping to secure much needed jobs.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland added: “Over the past 20 years, Enterprise Centres have provided important infrastructure for entrepreneurs and are an essential part of the start-up ecosystem across Ireland. The Centres, many of which are regionally based, provide space, connectivity, mentoring and support to start-up founders and teams, helping them to scale internationally.

“The funding announced today through Enterprise Ireland will ensure that the Enterprise Centres, many of whom have been negatively impacted by Covid-19, can sustain their businesses, pivot and further develop their services to support the next wave of Irish start-up companies.”

Dr Aisling O’Neill, ArcLabs Manager, has welcomed this award “the work we do in ArcLabs is focussed around supporting entrepreneurship and that includes our current clients, our graduate clients and of course, the clients we haven’t even met yet. This award from Enterprise Ireland means we can continue our good work and ensure that ArcLabs keeps supporting and building the entrepreneurial community in the South East region. To add to this, at this time, we have the capacity to support those individuals who could benefit from working in a coworking innovative space and I urge them to get in touch by emailing arclabs@wit.ie

The fund, which was launched in August, was open to both not-for-profit and for-profit enterprise centres which have seen their income significantly impacted as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 95 enterprise centres, which are in every region of the country, will receive grants ranging from €10k to €150k.


For more information and media queries

Dr Aisling O’Neill, Arclabs Manager, 0858746252 amoneill@wit.ien