TCD targets 160 start-up companies under new plan for entrepreneurship education

Life sciences and energy | Wed 27 Nov | Author – Business & Finance
Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) today launched a new plan for innovation and entrepreneurship education which aims to support the creation of more than 160 start-up companies over the first three years.

The Strategy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, launched by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, will embed a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across Trinity. Minister Bruton was joined at the launch by TCD’s Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast, in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute in Dublin.

The strategy targets new company creation through spin-outs, spin-ins, and support for student and graduate enterprises. By the end of next year, TCD aims to have supported the creation of 48 start-up companies, with that figure rising to 55 by the end of 2015, and to 58 by the end of 2016.

The Strategy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship includes:

  • A new integrated approach to innovation and entrepreneurship education for the whole university.
  • A €70mn new building project involving a Trinity School of Business, co-located with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub. The project, spanning 13,000 square metres, will include a 600-seat auditorium, restaurant spaces for 200 people, public space where students can meet and ideas exchange, ‘smart’ classrooms with the latest digital technology, and a rooftop conference room. Work is expected to start next summer and be finished in 2017.
  • 30 new academic staff, including a new Professor of Business Studies, offering a full range of business-related programmes at undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education levels.
  • A new Office of Corporate Partnership and Knowledge Transfer, opening TCD to industry and business, and enabling the co-creation of intellectual property and spin-out companies.

The strategy will permeate the activities of TCD’s 24 academic schools, as well as integrating its flagship research institutes – the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices, TCD Long Room Hub Institute for the Arts and Humanities, Institute for International Integration Studies, and the TCD Institute of Neuroscience, along with E3, the planned Institute for Engineering, Energy and Environment.

The new Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub, co-located with the Trinity School of Business, will provide space for prototyping and company incubation projects and academic and administrative offices. The project will connect the historic and modern ends of TCD’s campus along the Pearse Street axis, offering creative and learning space to the whole university under the common theme of innovation and entrepreneurship.

“To be successful, Irish society must encourage and develop all its entrepreneurial talents,” said Dr Prendergast, TCD’s Provost. “The new strategy promotes creativity and innovation as an integral part of the Trinity education. Our strategy will harness the creative, disruptive promise of innovation for Dublin and for the country. We see enormous potential for the development of a ‘creative quarter’, extending along the Pearse Street corridor to the Grand Canal Basin in Dublin, founded on a new model of collaboration between enterprise and academia,” he said.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, said: “Trinity’s Strategy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is well aligned with our focus on creating a new generation of entrepreneurially minded graduates who want to be future employers. We believe that, by acting as a focal point for innovation and education in Dublin city centre, Trinity can help support the growth of entrepreneurship across the economy, helping to turn good ideas into good jobs.”

Brendan Cannon, Intel’s corporate affairs director, welcomed the Strategy for Innovation and Enterprise, saying the new Office of Corporate Partnership and Knowledge Transfer would help link TCD with industry partners.“Intel has had a deep and fruitful research relationship with Trinity over the years. In a modern knowledge economy, there needs to be a seamless flow of people and ideas between academia and industry, and anything that makes it easier for industry to work with academia is to be welcomed. The establishment of the Office of Corporate Partnership and Knowledge Transfer as one-stop shop to identify, develop and manage industry relationships is a proactive and forward-thinking initiative from TCD,” he said.