The news that the Glasnevin Makerspace, backed by both Dublin City University and Dublin City Council, has not been awarded funding under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund is being described as a “bitter blow” for Dublin’s start-up community and “all those who have been involved in the project”.
Makerspaces are hubs where people with different skills and different educational backgrounds can work together, and collaboratively use capital equipment and software that would otherwise be unavailable to them to innovate.
Commenting on the decision, Fianna Fáil Dublin North West candidate, Cllr. Paul McAuliffe said:
“The proposed International Standard makerspace could have delivered a unique centre for the development of innovative prototypes and also created a unique support for Dublin’s blossoming start up community.
“Is Dublin to be the first city to turn its back on this model of innovation?
“Are we going to let the next tech revolution, ‘The Internet of Things’ pass us by and develop elsewhere?”
Cllr McAuliffe, who is a former Chairperson of Enterprise and Economic Development in Dublin City, had previously secured a financial commitment from Dublin City Council to support the project that would be based in the DCU Alpha Campus in Glasnevin.
“I am honestly gutted that this project had not been supported by the Government. The benefits of the project were backed up by two independent reports and the application brought with it a financial commitment from DCU as well as from Dublin City Council,” he said.
“This was a strong application with real tangible benefits. This wasn’t about delivering more office space. This was about giving entrepreneurs access to capital equipment and software where their innovative ideas could be transformed into production prototypes.
“The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation must meet with, and intervene with the Minister for Finance to review the project and outline a funding strategy to both DCU and DCC to ensure that this very important enterprise project.
“This project is just too good to fall between the cracks. While the Government may have shut the door on it today, I believe that it is incumbent on them to now layout a different pathway to deliver it.
“Similar international makerspaces have been developed in other cities across the world and in almost all cases they have been supported by city and national government.”