An allocation of €458,240 has been secured under the Regional Enterprise Fund to develop Birr Technology Centre.
The funding will be allocated for a creative suite to be located at the Birr Technology Centre that will provide a central location where research and education meets business, leveraging I-LOFAR, the astrophysics observing facility at Birr Castle. The funding was sought from the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation by Local Enterprise Office Offaly.
In welcoming the allocation, Cllr John Clendennen commented, "The project provides a unique opportunity to access big data in real time and services will include hot desk facilities and office space, IT training facilities, industry focused events, and industry-led research projects - both undergraduate and post graduate."
Over the past number of years, Professor Peter Gallagher has brought innovation and investment to Offaly with the I-LOFAR project and has been recognised by Offaly County Council for his endeavours. Earlier this year, Professor Gallagher, Cllr. Clendennen and representatives from Local Enterprise Office Offaly & Offaly County Council travelled to Holland, to witness first hand what can be achieved through Radio Astronomy.
Cllr Clendennen added, "today's funding presents a unique opportunity for the town of Birr and the region to capitalise from what is a truly unique opportunity. Having travelled to Holland and met and engaged with the primary stakeholders, and seen what has been achieved through Radio Astronomy there, I am confident that today’s funding allocation from the Government of Ireland is just another stepping stone to further opportunity and development in the area of astronomy, that will benefit Birr Town and the midlands region."