Galway Technology Centre (GTC) will announce this morning that it expects to generate 12,500 jobs over the next 15 years with its expansion of AcademyWest.
The expansion represents a €1.4 billion investment and is being strongly facilitated by Enterprise Ireland.
The plans will be revealed this morning during a special anniversary event celebrating over 25 years of Galway Technology Centre, which will be attended by An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Minister for State Hildegarde Naughton and Mayor of Galway Cllr Mike Cubbard, among others.
The AcademyWest project will have a particular focus on start ups and innovation driven enterprises, as well as growing ICT businesses in need of second sites.
The 22,000 square foot expansion will see the total floor area of GTC extend to 72,000 square feet, with the number of floors in the facility growing from two to four.
It will also include dedicated conferencing and meeting space and will address a critical capacity barrier in the existing centre.
When complete, the development will enable GTC to become an even greater focal point for the expanding tech cluster throughout Galway and the west of Ireland.
The impact of the expansion is expected to see 828 new jobs and €62.4m in investment generated per annum by Year 5, growing to 1,689 new jobs and €127.3m per annum by Year 10 and on to 2,517 new jobs and €189.7m per annum by Year 15.
This will take the total number of jobs created to 12,500 and €1.4 billion invested over the next 15 years.
GTC is currently home to 41 companies, with 326 people employed directly on site.
The centre is a social enterprise jointly owned by Galway Chamber and WestBIC. It provides scale up space and supports to meet the needs of innovative ICT startups and entrepreneurs.
GTC was the first technology innovation centre in Ireland, originally founded in the mid-nineties following the closure of Digital Equipment Corporation’s Galway facility. At that time, Digital had been Galway’s largest employer.
In response to that closure a special Government Task Force was established who invited Galway Chamber, WestBIC and An Forbairt to realise their vision of an indigenous ICT cluster in the west of Ireland. This led to the formation of GTC.
The Government Task Force was led by former Galway City and County Manager Seamus Keating. As part of the anniversary celebrations, Mr. Keating this week received a special Innovator of the West Award from GTC, in recognition of his role in helping to establish the centre.
Over the last 25 years GTC has housed more than 300 different companies who have created over 3,000 jobs.
“We are tremendously proud of all that Galway Technology Centre has achieved over the last 25+ years,” said Frank Greene, GTC Chairman.
“The original centre comprised a total of 8 individual units filled by seven startups, all founded by former Digital staff.
“From those humble beginnings the centre has become a modern, dynamic facility and social enterprise which has had a major impact on Galway and throughout the West.
“Anyone who was involved in the early days would be deeply impressed to see how the centre has gone on to flourish and would be amazed at the broader impact it has made on the regional ICT sector.
“Galway Technology Centre is proof that when social enterprises profit, society profits. Those benefits are being felt by ICT enterprises and innovative businesses in Galway and across the West to this day and with our AcademeyWest expansion we aim to make sure that continues for a very long time to come.”
Noreen Conway, Acting Manager of GTC, said that the AcademyWest expansion represents a significant new phase in the life of Galway Technology Centre.
“It will drive substantial employment growth, while expanding the technology cluster and knowledge economy throughout Galway and the West over the coming years,” said Noreen Conway.
“This enhanced modern facility will have a further transformative effect on the regional ICT ecosystem. It will help attract and retain dynamic high performance startups who wish to scale their enterprise and also act as a second site for growing, innovative companies.
“Once the AcademyWest expansion is complete it will facilitate businesses who are expected to generate over 12,500 jobs and €1.4 billion investment on a cumulative basis over the next 15 years.”
Ms Conway added that the scope and benefits of this project will be felt across Galway and throughout the entire region.
“It will make Galway Technology Centre a beacon for innovation across the west of Ireland. On a day when we celebrate the history of Galway Technology Centre, we are excited to be firmly placing a foot towards our dynamic future.”