The RDI Hub, the world-class centre that fosters innovation and business growth, has announced expansion plans which will see it build on its work to date in bringing together corporates, SMEs and start-ups to innovate and scale for the future.
This will enable the Hub to both meet growing demand from its members to grow their teams and accept new members, with the addition of 50 new spaces that will bring the total capacity for companies to operate from the RDI Hub to over 100.
Following opening the RDI Hub in 2020, over 50 companies are now accessing the space. Since becoming RDI members, these companies have created 250 jobs as well as developing 29 new products and services in just three years. To date, €12 million in funding has been raised by companies in the hub.
In the last 12 months, 16 new companies have been onboarded. The RDI Hub is now home to global companies including Liebherr, Glencar Construction, Helgen Technologies and Taxamo, a Vertex company.
The expansion of the RDI Hub has been announced ahead of a gathering of over 200 stakeholders to celebrate its third anniversary. Attendees at the event will hear how despite the onset of the pandemic shortly after opening, the first three years of the RDI Hub have been a success.
Speaking ahead of the event, RDI Hub CEO, Liam Cronin said:
“The RDI Hub enables start-ups, scale-ups, SMEs, corporates, and enterprises to create, digitalise, innovate, and scale businesses for future economies. It is through this work over the last three years that we have been able to transform the innovation ecosystem in the South West of Ireland. We are delighted to mark the latest milestone in the evolution of the RDI Hub and announce further investment which will enable us to build on the incredible work in developing and scaling companies of all sizes and sectors.”
“The plans for the Hub were naturally impacted by the pandemic however we are really proud of how we pivoted, what has been achieved and look forward to the next three years where we aim to build on what has been achieved to date. We have realised our vision by creating a unique environment for business to flourish and we are very excited about our ever-expanding programme of activity in the years ahead. We are excited about what lies ahead and have strong ambitions for the successes of our member companies in the coming years.”
Karl Aherne, Chief Operating Officer, Fexco said:
“Since opening its doors in 2020, the RDI Hub has transformed into a significant innovation ecosystem not just for the region, but also for Fexco. In the last three years. It has progressed from being an innovation hub to a dynamic ecosystem that fosters creativity, novel technologies, and a collaborative hybrid culture. As a result, it has yielded some incredible outcomes such as Taxamo, and several intriguing breakthroughs in robotics, AI, the Metaverse, and conventional industries such as construction, agriculture, and tourism. Fexco sees the RDI Hub as a crucial part of our future innovation plans.”
The RDI Hub has recently been added to the European Commission’s Startup Village Forum, a key part of a larger vision for rural areas in the EU. The Vision identifies several areas of action toward stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous rural areas and communities by 2040.
The RDI Hub was also named as the Digital Business Ireland Business Hub of the Year. This award recognises the hub as amongst the very best and brightest in digital and online enterprise.
The RDI Hub will expand its space by opening 50 new desk spaces before the end of the year to facilitate the continued growth of the eco-system it has created. It will also see investment in a new state of the art digital media lab with podcast and video and greenscreen recording facilities to allow members and visitors to create media assets for their businesses.
The RDI Hub will also run the next edition of the STEM Passport programme to encourage more women in STEM, with over 240 students expected to participate in 2023.
The third anniversary will be marked by an exclusive event with the economist, author and broadcaster David McWilliams set to deliver the keynote address while attendees will hear from industry experts including Tracey Keogh of Grow Remote on topics ranging on innovation, and how the future of work will evolve. It will feature guest speakers like Ben Lamorte, author of the OKRs Field Book that helps managers with measurable goals to Elysia Hegarty from the Future of Work CPL and how people will adapt as our working lives evolve.
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