Taoiseach opens new €6.7m NovaUCD expansion

Posted 28 October, 2021

A new €6.7 million expansion of NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin, has been opened by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD. 

The project saw the renovation and expansion of NovaUCD’s East Courtyard, increasing the hub’s capacity to house high-tech start-ups by over 50% - meaning more than 450 founders and their teams can be supported by NovaUCD.

The new facility also includes 20+ business units and laboratories and a new co-working space.

“Since opening in 2003 NovaUCD has become one of the leading hubs in Ireland’s start-up ecosystem supporting ambitious entrepreneurs and innovative high-tech companies,” said the Taoiseach. 

“With NovaUCD’s strong track record, and now with its significant increase in capacity, I am sure it will continue to flourish in the future as it continues to assist entrepreneurs who want to locate at NovaUCD and leverage its excellent facilities, accelerator programmes, expertise and network to help them to grow and scale their start-ups on the global stage.”

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact, Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD and Tom Flanagan, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation

During a tour of the facility Taoiseach Micheál Martin received technology demonstrations from a number of start-ups already located in the new wing, including Equal1 LaboratoriesMannaOutput Sports, and PlasmaBound.

Since opening in 2003 NovaUCD has developed an excellent infrastructure, a range of comprehensive business support programmes, including accelerator programmes, and a peer-support ecosystem of experienced mentors, founders, alumni, investors and sponsors, that nurtures an enthusiastic and dynamic community of talented entrepreneurs at NovaUCD and across the UCD campus.

It has to date supported over 400 companies and early-stage ventures that have raised over €775 million in equity funding, and employ thousands of people directly and indirectly between them.

“We are delighted to welcome the Taoiseach to officially open NovaUCD’s East Courtyard expansion today. UCD is committed to Ireland’s development as an innovation leader through its role as an engine of economic, cultural, and social growth,” said Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact.

“[By] investing in the expansion of NovaUCD’s East Courtyard we are substantially increasing our capacity to support the development and scaling of high-tech start-ups in line with Shaping the Future, UCD’s Strategy for Research, Innovation and Impact.”

Tom Flanagan, UCD Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation added: “Over the last few years we have doubled the number of start-ups that we are creating from UCD research and we have supported them to more than triple the seed investment they attract.

“We have also increased the number of accelerator programmes we run with partners such as the European Space Agency, Ericsson, Vodafone, Enterprise Ireland and IADT Media Cube, so the timing is right for this expansion.” 

“We have a growing and vibrant community of very successful entrepreneurs at NovaUCD and we look forward to welcoming and supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs in the years ahead,” he said.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations (with materials from Micéal Whelan, UCD Research and Innovation)