Platform94 opens new €5.2m extension and forecasts delivery of €66.8m to regional economy in 2024

The Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Dara Calleary TD, has officially opened the new €5.2 million extension at Platform94, affirming its position as the largest technology innovation centre in the west of Ireland. The Galway city location, which acts as the headquarters for Platform94, has increased substantially to 66,000 sq ft across four floors, while also significantly expanding its remit in facilitating the development and expansion of the tech cluster and knowledge economy across the entire western region.

It is estimated that Platform94 will bring a Gross Added Value (GVA) of over €66.8 million to the regional economy in 2024, while further cementing its position as the definitive centre of excellence enabling the west’s scaling technology businesses to reach their growth and global ambitions.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, Platform94 was formerly known as Galway Technology Centre (GTC), and was originally founded in 1994 to meet the needs of an emerging cluster of ICT companies outside the capital. It is owned by Galway Chamber and WestBIC and supported by Enterprise Ireland. Over the last three decades, Platform94 has grown its physical presence in Galway to 11 times its original scale, having opened its doors as a 6,000 sq ft facility in February 1994. Since then, it has undergone three expansions, with the latest development to 66,000 sq ft coming on the back of a successful Regional Enterprise Development Fund bid to Enterprise Ireland.

The new extension brings with it a range of immersive support facilities that have been created to enable the Platform94 member companies to scale and grow. A state-of-the-art video conferencing boardroom, an additional 15 private Grade A office spaces, an ultra-modern media production suite, and a wellness centre, are among the new facilities on offer. These amenities will provide members with an optimum environment to thrive and succeed.

Completed at the end of 2023, the building is already at 85 percent occupancy, with more than 600 people employed on site and an additional 100 positions currently open. Platform94 has exceeded its own job creation targets by 100, and has done so two years ahead of time. Within the next three years, it expects to reach 95 percent capacity, creating 748 direct roles and 479 indirect positions, bringing a GVA of €83.2 million annually.

Platform94 is recognised nationally and internationally as the west of Ireland’s definitive centre of excellence for scaling technology companies, and a leader in accelerating innovation-driven enterprises on a global scale. Physically in Galway, and through its regional outreach and collaboration programmes, it offers leadership and knowledge transfer to scaling companies, enabling them to elevate their business to the next level. It does so by providing access to the knowledge, network, funding and office supports, enabling them to scale and build thriving businesses in the west, and assisting them in unlocking their true international potential.

Officially opening the new extension, Minister Dara Calleary congratulated the team and said: 

“I am delighted to be here today to officially open the extension to Platform94 in Galway. This remarkable state-of-the art facility will play a central role in enabling the growth of scaling enterprises in the West and further afield. The extended space at Platform94 will accommodate close to 800 people and will accelerate entrepreneurial activity in Galway, providing space for technology companies to meet, collaborate and ideate, with access to cutting-edge technology including a fully integrated production suite. 

“The opening of the extension of Platform94, supported by over €4.4 million in funding from my Department’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund, will further cement Galway’s reputation as a hub for digital tech and provide high-potential businesses with the space and support they need to flourish and prosper. It is an example of one of the many enterprise initiatives the Government has supported throughout the country.

“The West Regional Enterprise Plan is responsive to the opportunities and needs of the region and focuses on regional collaboration. Platform94 is an example of the power of that collaboration, and I hope and expect that it will inspire similar initiatives in the region. I wish the centre and all the companies based here every success for the future.”

Speaking at the event, Leo Clancy, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Ireland, added: “Platform94 has been supported by Enterprise Ireland through the Regional Enterprise Development Fund which provides funding for innovation and collaborative projects with the aim of creating sustainable jobs in the region. I would like to congratulate Galway Chamber and WestBIC on the official opening today and in providing tailored space for existing and start-up tech companies.

“Building on the success of the original Galway Technology Centre, the new extended premises will help support an increase in value-added activity, collaboration and innovation by offering technical support and facilities, and links to training to strengthen scaling enterprises within the region. We look forward to working with the businesses that will further grow their enterprises in this immersive hub, with a view to scaling internationally.” 

On behalf of Platform94, Noreen Conway, Interim CEO, said: “This is a momentous day for us all at Platform94. Carrying the tagline ‘Global Ambition, Local Support’, we provide leadership and knowledge transfer to scaling companies, enabling them to elevate their business to the next level. This development highlights the flourishing of scaling enterprises in the west of Ireland and the increased demand for space to facilitate their growth in the region and internationally.”

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