UK Secretary of State visits DCU innovation centre

UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable visited Dublin City University’s Innovation and Enterprise Centre, Invent last month.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham came to learn more about the university’s key enterprises which support DCU’S vision as Ireland’s University of Enterprise.

During his visit, Secretary Cable and DCU President, Professor Brian McCraith discussed the proposed development of a Dublin Belfast Innovation Corridor which would see authorities in Dublin and Belfast work together on co-ordinating investment and development strategies which would result in an all island economy.

Secretary Cable was also briefed on DCU’s new Cleantech Innovation Campus, an initiative to support green economic development in the North Dublin region. Secretary Cable also learned of DCU’s UStart Student Accelerator Programme, a new programme to encourage third-level students to become entrepreneurs.

As part of his visit, Secretary Cable visited the labs of Sigmoid Pharma, a bio pharmaceutical company based at DCU Invent and the offices of Kantan Machine Translation Services, a DCU spin-out company specialising in advanced computer technology.

Speaking at the meeting Professor MacCraith spoke of the significance of the various initiatives. He said: “This is an important opportunity for the Secretary to experience first-hand the depth and range of DCU’s engagement with enterprise and the real impact we are delivering both at home and abroad. Industry-academic collaboration has been a distinctive element of the DCU research profile and we welcome the Secretary’s interest in our wide-ranging activities in this area.

“The Eastern Corridor between Dublin and Belfast is, and will continue to be for the coming decades, the fastest growing centre of population and economic activity on the island of Ireland. This corridor offers massive potential to this island and DCU, in partnership with education, enterprise and cultural sectors, will play a pivotal role in its economic, social and cultural development.”

Secretary Cable said: “Innovation is a key driver of economic growth, so it is has been interesting to hear how DCU is capitalising on its work. Spin-out companies like the ones I heard about today are a good way of turning inventions into jobs. It’s also interesting to hear more about the plans for an innovation corridor between Belfast and Dublin and I look forward to exploring this opportunity.”

Jennifer Holmes

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