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October  2003

EUR 10m Entrepreneurial Centre Takes Off 

An T�naiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Ms Mary Harney TD officially opened NovaUCD, a EUR 10 million Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre at University College Dublin on 13 October 2003. The purpose-built centre, which has been funded through a unique public-private partnership, will nurture new technology and knowledge-intensive enterprises. NovaUCD will have over 40 incubation units and provide innovators and entrepreneurs with the necessary support and knowledge to take their ideas from proof of principle to commercial success.

Mary Harney T.D. with President of UCD, Dr Art Cosgrove and Dr Pat Frain, pictured at unveiling of plaque.
An T�naiste Mary Harney T.D. with President of UCD, Dr Art Cosgrove (right) and Dr Pat Frain, Director NovaUCD.

The Centre is managed by the University Industry Programme, which has established an excellent track record in spinning-off campus companies. These include Changing Worlds, Massana, NTera and WBT Systems. Spin-offs from UCD have collectively raised $90 million in funding to date.

The first two phases of NovaUCD have been funded through an innovative public-private partnership that includes AIB Bank, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers, Xilinx, and UCD. Seventy-five percent of the funding has been contributed by the private sector sponsors. NovaUCD will work with the founding sponsors and other organisations such as Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, F.R. Kelly & Co, to ensure the successful development of the NovaUCD support programme.

Dr Pat Frain, Director NovaUCD during welcome presentation.
Dr Pat Frain, Director NovaUCD, during the official 
opening of NovaUCD

At the opening of the Centre the T�naiste said, "The NovaUCD Centre is an excellent example of
innovation in action, providing a full range of supports to companies wishing to commence operations in the Science and Technology area. It is crucially important that companies and the third level sector work closely together in order to guarantee success and to ensure the maximum commercialisation of research. Significant resources are being committed under the National Development Plan by the Government to Research, Technological Development and Innovation to underpin this strategy". 

Also speaking at the official opening, Dr Art Cosgrove, President of UCD said, "The vision of NovaUCD is ambitious. It aims to become an international leader in the commercialisation of knowledge for the benefit of the economy and society. In the NovaUCD by-line 'innovation through co-operation' it is recognised that this vision can only be achieved through co-operation with both Government and the private sector". 

Building on the track record of the University Industry Programme, the NovaUCD team in co-operation with the sponsors will promote innovation and technology transfer among the next generation of innovators and campus companies by providing advice and support in areas such as Intellectual Property (IP) protection and exploitation, commercial planning, new venture formation and access to finance.

NovaUCD will also offer companies a comprehensive business support programme comprising advice, seminars and courses. This includes access to established training and professional development programmes such as the Campus Company Development Programme, a business start-up programme that was established in 1996 and which has been run in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland since 2001. In addition, clinics and guidance from NovaUCD sponsors and other experts in areas such as law, banking, patenting, licensing and new venture formation will be provided, as well 
as introductions to UCD's research base, the largest and most diversified concentration of scientific and technological expertise in the country.

Among the facilities available at the 2,850 sq. m. purpose-built centre are 42 incubation units of varying sizes, desk space, meeting and seminar areas, advanced telecommunication and Internet access and reception and secretarial services. The opening of NovaUCD will result in a ten-fold increase in the incubation space available to campus companies in UCD. 

Companies currently participating in the NovaUCD programme include: Neosera Systems, developing specialised processors to accelerate simulation tools used by the microelectronics design market; Locumotion, a medical services company, and GoldStack, a software development company that develops specialised information systems and information management tools. 

The initial phase of the development involves a mixture of reconstruction and new development of the West Courtyard at Merville House, a prime location on the Belfield Campus. The second phase of NovaUCD which involves the refurbishment of Merville House will add an additional 900 sq.m. of space and will be completed by Summer 2004.

For further information contact Mic�al Whelan, NovaUCD, e-mail:, tel: (01) 716 3712, or Frans van Cauwelaert/Andrew McLindon, WHPR, e-mail:,, tel: (01) 669 0030.

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