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New centre of innovation launched in Craigavon

Published on:  27 Feb 2007

A new centre to encourage the formation and incubation of high technology and knowledge based start up businesses was officially launched in Craigavon today (Tuesday 27th February 2007) by Denis Rooney, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland.

The new innovation centre, which is being pioneered by Craigavon Industrial Development Organisation (CIDO), will provide knowledge based companies with a corporate environment specifically designed to stimulate business growth, encourage inter-company collaboration and promote networking opportunities.

The project is being funded by the International Fund for Ireland with support from Craigavon Borough Council and the Building Sustainable Prosperity Programme.  CIDO itself has made a major contribution to the building of this new centre.

Speaking at the launch of the new centre, Jim Smith, Chief Executive of CIDO said: “The Innovation Centre will provide a platform to encourage the formation of technology and knowledge based start up businesses.  In addition to providing modern premises CIDO can support the businesses through its experienced network of technology entrepreneurs.  The organisation has also extensive international networks through its membership of the National Business Incubation Association in America (NBIA) and the UK Business Incubation network (UKBI). 

CIDO hopes the Innovation Centre will help support the development and exploitation of research linking colleges and universities to the commercial support it can offer. 

The bespoke design of the new building with its open plan areas will encourage inter-company collaboration and networking.  We see the innovation centre as a major hub for the development of the new businesses that can operate in the global marketplace.

The International Fund for Ireland has supported the new development through its Business Enterprise Programme. 

Denis Rooney, Chairman of the Fund, praised Craigavon Industrial Development Organisation’s vision in developing this project. He said: “The people behind this project are to be commended. This state-of-the art building will offer new and existing businesses 16,500 sq ft of hi-tech space complete with leading edge telecommunications and IT platforms and is designed to match the specific needs of companies in the technology sector. Creating a community of knowledge-led ventures in this way will serve to further stimulate ideas and add to the rapidly developing knowledge economy not only in the Craigavon area but further afield.”

“Although the Fund’s strategy is now more focused on community relations and reconciliation rather than on funding capital projects, I am pleased that the Fund has contributed to a project that will have a long term, positive impact on a local community such as this.”

The Mayor of Craigavon, Councilor Kenneth Twyble, said: ’In order to compete in the global economy, Craigavon businesses need to be innovative and creative in their business practices, products and services.  Providing state of the art incubation space is the best way to create and nurture the knowledge based industries of the future’

The new centre, which is currently under construction and is expected to be complete by September 2007, will provide 31 purpose built high tech office suites varying in size from 190 sq ft to 290 sq.

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