Cormac Johnston joins Kinetic Labs as General Manager

This month, Cormac Johnston has been appointed to the position of General Manager here at Kinetic Labs. Cormac has a wealth of knowledge that will be invaluable in assisting not only Kinetic Labs in our next stage of development but also our start-up community as they navigate their way from idea generation to commercial viability.

Here Cormac tells us more about his background and development plans for Kinetic Labs.

Cormac, tell us more about your background

I have over 20 years’ experience managing and developing start-up and mature businesses. Originally studying a broad-based degree in agriculture and business, I started my career working on large commercial farms in New Zealand upon leaving university. During my time there I learnt the importance of being able to adapt one’s approach and behaviour when reacting to any challenge that is thrown at you. This lesson has been a corner stone of my career to date and has enabled me to hold senior operations, new product introduction and business development roles across various industry sectors, ranging from healthcare to luxury goods and biotechnology to manufacturing.

My career to date has seen me work with organisations in all aspects of their development.  I have hands on experience bringing lab based and work shop ideas through from small scale development to commercial viability. This includes establishing new customer channels and supply chains, product testing and quality procedures and practices as well as training and mentoring staff and management in general business and process improvement principles. Coupled with this I have extensive knowledge and experience accessing grant and investor funding for businesses at various stages of the company and product life cycle.

I have developed and manged various multi-faceted projects domestically and internationally dealing with differing cultures, customers and economic landscapes across China, Europe and the USA. Experience working across a mix of large and small companies has been critical to my success in enabling successful operational growth and development strategies for companies.

How did you make the move to managing Kinetic Labs?

Throughout my career I have enjoyed developing new business units and ideas. Over the last number of years, I have run my own consultancy business working primarily with SME’s across various industry sectors, helping them develop or overhaul their business processes and practices.  The chance to be involved with companies at the start of their journey and assist them in overcoming the challenges that all start-ups experience, as well being part of the development of the emerging life science cluster and ecosystem in the South East was very appealing. I believe that my business experience will be of benefit to many entrepreneurs as they take the step towards bringing their ideas to commercial viability.

What are your future plans for Kinetic Labs?

Our vision is to transform Kinetic Labs into a science innovation hub for the South East.

At Kinetic Labs, our expert team understand the realities of running a business from start-up phase right through to growing an established company. The last year has given many new entrepreneurs the time to conduct research for their future companies and we now have the infrastructure in place to help make those ideas a reality and connect them with the resources and supports to succeed.

For life science start-ups finding affordable and flexible lab space can be a big challenge.  I see Kinetic Labs as the ideal place for local, national or international start-ups and spin-outs to develop their business. One such spin out to join us here in Kinetic labs is Trinity Green Energies (TGE). Initially from Trinity College Dublin, TGE has relocated to Kinetic labs and specialises in the capture, storage and utilisation of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

My aim is to further develop our linkages with mature life science organisations, educational and research facilities (WIT, SEAM and PMBRC) and funding bodies (Enterprise Ireland, LEO, IDA). The plan is to provide an unmatched ecosystem for start-ups to access all the supports that they will need as they perfect their ideas and build their customer base.

Through the development of a vibrant all-encompassing support focused facility, we aim to attract companies from across the globe to the South East to start their journey in this centre for innovation and bring additional employment to the South East.

How can renting lab space at Kinetic Labs make a difference to companies?

Kinetic Labs has many of the facilities and supports that are lacking for start-ups, new entrants as well as the extra space needed by established and growing companies. Through renting lab space at Kinetic Labs companies can access:

  • Lab space to take on new projects without the risk of a long-term lease
  • Brand new laboratories – a shared laboratory for companies starting out and individual furnished/unfurnished facilities for more established companies.
  • The excellent facilities at WorkLAB – offices, meeting rooms, café and a community of established companies and start-ups providing networking and commercial opportunities.
  • Collaborative and research facilities and knowledge from WIT, SEAM, PMBRC which are located a short walk away.
  • The enterprise support offices – the regional Enterprise Ireland, IDA and South East Business Innovation Centre are all a 5-minute walk away.
  • Industry specific and general business support and mentoring from our team throughout your stay.
  • Assistance in accessing funding (grant aid or private)
  • The networking and learning opportunities associated with being part of a life science cluster.

Finally, and very importantly there is a very strong team of people and much local goodwill behind this project – Richie Walsh, Seamus Kilgannon and Patsy Carney are all hands-on directors of Kinetic Labs.  Richie is head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office (LEO), a strong supporter of the project.  Seamus is a serial entrepreneur who is backing this project with much appreciated support and advice.  Patsy is a role model for any start up – building EirGen a world class pharma company from scratch.

How can companies find out more about renting lab space at Kinetic Labs?

Kinetic Labs was set-up to provide science-based companies in the South East with the lab facilities to develop their products and processes.  Contact us and we will arrange a tour of our high-quality lab space together with office space, meeting rooms and facilities.

To find out more about renting lab space at Kinetic Labs, contact our team today.

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