An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar visited GMIT Galway today (Friday, 5 November 2021) to formally open the new extension to GMIT’s Enterprise Ireland funded Innovation Hub (iHub) and new Medical Imaging Suite at the Galway (Dublin Road) campus.
Mr Varadkar was welcomed to the campus by GMIT President Dr Orla Flynn, the Mayor of Galway City Councillor Colette Connolly, and GMIT VP Research & Innovation Dr Rick Officer, together with invited guests from the business community and MedTech industry.
GMIT’s iHub has doubled in size to 2,400 m2, accommodating hi-tech incubation space for eleven dedicated MedTech R&D units; seven incubation units for start-ups in the Software, Digital Tech, Connected Health sectors; a co-working space; an events space; social hubs and breakout meeting and networking areas. It provides a dedicated entrepreneur hub space for GMIT researchers, staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students and industry to work collaboratively on the creation and development of innovative ideas for new products and services that can compete on a global scale. It supports Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers programme and the dedicated women’s entrepreneurship EMPOWER programme implemented in collaboration with CUA partners IT Sligo and Letterkenny IT and funded by the European Social Fund as part of the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning.
Inside the building is GMIT’s new Medical Imaging Suite operated by the Enterprise Ireland Medical and Engineering Technology Gateway (MET). Representing a significant investment by Enterprise Ireland, and supported by GMIT, the new Philips Azurion 7 M20 fluoroscope provides state of the art imaging capabilities to industry, research and academic partners. This facility, providing 3D augmented digital fluoroscopy, can be used for device demonstration, evaluation and testing and will also be used to provide training on new technologies and devices for clinicians and staff.
Commenting on the new iHub and Medical Imaging Suite, Minister Leo Varadkar says: “This expansion is a real boost for both current and future entrepreneurs in Galway and the surrounding area. This new space will provide start-ups with the space and network to develop new ideas and collaborate with industry and their peers. I think it’s a really exciting opportunity and I look forward to hearing about the success of companies who originated from here in the future.”
“These last two years have highlighted the importance and value of having such a thriving MedTech sector in Ireland. We want to grow the industry further here and are providing the investment and infrastructure to make it happen. This new Medical Imaging Suite is a state of the art piece of equipment and will be a great resource for researchers and industry alike.”
“I wish GMIT the very best of luck with this expansion and to any entrepreneurs with an idea in the MedTech space, this facility and the expert network around it is here for you. Take a chance on your idea and the Government will back you.”
Dr Rick Officer, GMIT VP Research and Innovation, says: “The official opening of GMIT’s stunning iHub extension and the Medical Imaging Suite is a really proud day for GMIT. It culminates years of hard work by many staff in GMIT, which has been well recognised by Enterprise Ireland’s generous support. These superb new facilities demonstrate GMIT’s ongoing commitment to our institutional mission of education, research, and innovation. The impact of these investments for the people and enterprises we support will be phenomenal.”
Stephen Creaner, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland, says: “Surrounded by the formidable multinational medical device sector in Galway, the GMIT iHub plays a key role in supporting the increasing number of Irish-owned MedTech companies set up by local MedTech professionals and by third-level researchers funded under the Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund and BioInnovate Programmes.”
George McCourt, Head of Innovation & Enterprise, GMIT, says: “This new extension provides additional expertise & capability for start-ups in the west region to drive regional job creation with a particular focus on export markets. I would like to thank Enterprise Ireland for their iHub extension funding and critical support programmes for our client companies.”
Manager of the Medical Imaging Suite Sharon White says: “MET is an applied research centre, dedicated to supporting Research, Development and Innovation activities in the MedTech, Life Sciences and Engineering sectors. This new facility perfectly complements our existing expertise in medical imaging, anatomical modelling and physiological replication. Additionally, it provides our industry partners with access to facilities not readily available outside of the clinical environment and will serve to drive innovation in the development of new medical devices and technologies.”
For further information please contact George McCourt at GMIT’s Innovation Hub, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.gmitihubs.ie or Sharon White at the MET Technology Gateway, Sharon.email@example.com or see www.metcentre.ie