Monday 18 November 2019

Digital innovation hub!

Pic: @valphoto
The first of three gteic hubs to be developed in the Cork Gaeltacht will add a further boost to business and innovation in Múscraí. (An scéal seo i nGaeilge)

The two ministers @ the centre
Corks newest digital and innovation hub, gteic@Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh, in the heart of the Cork Gaeltacht, has been officially opened by the Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food, Michael Creed, TD, alongside Government Chief Whip and Minister for State for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Seán Kyne, TD.

gteic@Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh has been completed as part of a network of 31 innovation & digital hubs with high speed broadband being developed by Údarás na Gaeltachta in locations throughout Ireland’s Gaeltacht Area. It is a state of the art innovation and digital hub located on the Údarás na Gaeltachta business park in Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh, in the Cork Gaeltacht where the unique Gaeltacht culture drives creativity and innovation.

Údarás na Gaeltachta has invested over €1.5 million in the development of the hubs, with additional funding in excess of €3.5 million approved from the Government’s Rural Regeneration and Development Fund also.

Eight hubs have been opened to date in
• Gaoth Dobhair in Co. Donegal,
• Béal an Mhuirthead in Co. Mayo,
• Carna, An Cheathrú Rua, An Spidéal and Na Forbacha in Co. Galway,
• Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh in Co. Cork and the
• Daingean Uí Chúis (Mol Teic/Dingle hub) in Co. Kerry.
22 hot desk/coworking spaces, meeting and video conferencing facilities and gigabit enabled broadband in an open and creative workspace offers endless possibilities to entrepreneurs, innovators, remote workers and concept developers in the tranquil surroundings of this west Cork hamlet.

This development will give the Gaeltacht community, both at home and abroad, an opportunity to return to or live in their home area by providing remote working opportunities at hot desks or co-working spaces. This in turn will support, bolster and assist these unique language communities and help them to face the challenges of rural depopulation.

An opportunity of improved worklife balance will not be the only benefit of gteic membership! A reciprocal arrangement agreed with the Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin means that any member of the GEC can avail of the gteic facilities anywhere along the network and members of the gteic digital community can avail of the facilities in GEC in Dublin free of charge.

Minister Kyne meets some of the hub users
An unique aspect of the gteic Gréasán Digiteach na Gaeltachta network is that they are being developed and operated on a collaborative basis with the local community in these rural areas. gteic@Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh will be operated by Comharchumann Forbartha Mhúscraí (the local community development organisation) on behalf of Údarás na Gaeltachta.

There are currently seven people operating from the hub which represents a mixture of self-employed people and remote workers. The upcoming Christmas period looks to be busy with gteic@Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh providing options to natives of the area to extend their stay at home over the festive period.

This growing digital ecosystem is providing an excellent opportunity for new technology companies to establish or locate themselves in the rural areas which encompass the Gaeltacht and for their employees to enjoy the excellent worklife balance that these picturesque areas can offer.

gteic@Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh represents one of three gteic digital hubs that will be developed by Údarás na Gaeltachta in the Cork Gaeltacht. It is hoped that works on a gteic hub on Oileán Chléire (Cape Clear) will be completed in the coming weeks. With the assistance of funding from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund a masterplan for the Coláiste Íosagáin campus in Baile Bhuirne is being progressed which will also include a gteic innovation and digital hub.

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