£12 Million European Union Funding Confirmed for North West Regional Science Park

LYIT is key partner in significant regional science hub. CoLab to be the location of new science park facility.

Science ParkOver Stg £12 million of funding, from the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, was announced today to extend the successful science park model currently operating in Belfast to the North West.

The project will involve the construction of a 50,000 sq ft science park facility at Fort George in Londonderry and a 20,000 sq ft extension to the CoLab facility at Letterkenny Institute of Technology. If both sites achieve maximum occupancy by 2019 the project has the potential to create up to 285 added value jobs directly and add impetus to the creation of a knowledge-based economy in the region.

Project partners include the Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP) Foundation Ltd, Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) and the North West Region Cross Border Group (NWRCBG). The funding provided for the project, under the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme, is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Commenting on the project, Pat Colgan, Chief Executive with the SEUPB, said: “The high level of European Union assistance, which has been awarded to this cross-border project, is a testament to its potential to enhance the North West economy. Not only will it support the growth and development of a new wave of innovative businesses, but it will also help to create long-term employment opportunities for the region”.

Paul Hannigan, President of LYIT, commented: “This represents a significant step in making the North West a strategic centre for scientific innovation and research.  The NWRSP embodies the LYIT's Strategic Plan 2007-13 which emphasises our commitment to research, innovation and enterprise, and to developing collaborative strategic partnerships consistent with the National Development Plan, which in turn leverage our all-island capacity to create a regional innovation ecosystem in the North West.  The NWRSP is tangible evidence of the success of this collaborative strategic and wider NW regional approach.  We look forward to working with our partners in making NWRSP a powerhouse for scientific research in Ireland”.

The project will construct a commercial and research centre in Derry to act as a satellite park of the internationally acclaimed Northern Ireland Science Park, based in Belfast. It will also establish a similar centre in Letterkenny which will extend the reach of the NISP into the whole of the North West Business Technology Zone.

Match-funding for the North West Regional Science Park project has been provided by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland.

Upon completion the project will provide an ‘Innovation Eco System’ that will enable new and existing technology-based businesses to enhance their competitiveness. It will also help to maximise investment in the EU INTERREG IVA supported Kelvin project which has significantly increased the telecommunications infrastructure of the North West.

Photo caption: Pictured (right-left) are Pat Colgan, Chief Executive of the Special EU Programmes Body; Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP MLA; Frank Hewitt, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Science Park; Joe McHugh TD; Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland; and Eugene McMenamin, Chair of the North West Region Cross Border Group welcoming the £12million funding announcement, by the European Union's INTERREG IVA Programme, to establish a North West Regional Science Park.
[Picture: Michael Cooper]



Fri, 30 Nov 2012 14:00:00 GMT


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