Kildare County Council’s application for funding from the Regional Enterprise Development Fund to create a Mid East Region Innovation Think Space (MERITS) has been approved, Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has confirmed.

The Fund, to support regional projects, is provided by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, through Enterprise Ireland and is a key action to support the Regional Action Plan for Jobs and the Action Plan for Rural Development.

Kildare County Council through its Enterprise Officer Jacquie McNabb and CEO Peter Carey were instrumental in making the application which is worth €2m to the new Kildare initiative.  The project will also require matching funding from the council of €1.3m.

“The vision of Mid East Region Innovation Think Space (MERITS) is designed to serve the emerging technology sector by connecting organizations and people and will act as a centre of excellence in supporting innovative companies across the region.  This will be a boost for Kildare as new businesses in this sector come to the locality and hopefully create more jobs in Kildare.

“The proposal was influenced by the increased demand in the Kildare and Mid East region from the emerging technology sector and the increase demand from small businesses for support in innovation as well as the success of MaynoothWorks.

“The proposed project also fits in well with the Kildare County Development Plan 2017 – 2023 (EO 4 Dev plan 2017 -2023 ) which promises to continue to develop Kildare as a digital/innovative economy hub and leadership “hot spot”.  This project has the potential to significantly enhance Kildare’s reputation in this growing sector.

With the support of partners in Enterprise Ireland, Meath & Wicklow LEO’s ,Maynooth University, KWETB, Skillnets and Industry representatives the vision of Mid East Region Innovation Think Space  will be delivered by :

  • Providing incubation space for indigenous enterprise and companies which graduated from MaynoothWorks.
  • Acting as a ‘soft-landing’ space for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI),
  • Providing “Think Space“ to existing companies looking for an offsite venue for ideation.
  • Providing added benefit to our clients through networking and access to research base in Maynooth University in addition to providing Design Thinking and Innovation Consulting services and training.

Deputy Heydon said: “This is great news for MERITS, and will help drive employment in Co. Kildare and across the Mid East Region, promoting Kildare as an area of excellence with a speciality in this area. “In this year’s Action Plan for Jobs, we made the decision to place a specific focus on strengthening the rural and regional economy. I hope this project will be the first of many and continue to promote Kildare as a growing region of excellence for small and growing enterprises. I would also like to congratulate Jacquie and all the team in KCC for their work on this application.