Last month, Kinetic Labs successfully secured a priming grant as part of a new Regional Enterprise Innovation Scoping Scheme (REISS) 2022. The project will investigate the attractiveness of developing a South East Life Sciences cluster in South East Ireland promoting sustainable growth in the sector across the region.
This REISS fund helps drive the implementation of an action listed in the recently published South East Regional Enterprise Plan to 2024. Kinetic Labs will investigate the technical, financial and market viability of a Life Sciences cluster in the South East and how to unlock future investment in the longer-term project.
Supporting regional enterprise plans through a South East Life Sciences cluster development project
Enterprise Ireland’s REISS provides grant funding for the development and further evaluation of potential innovative regional projects aligned with the objectives of the 9 Regional Enterprise Plans.
These REISS projects focus on delivery of Feasibility Studies on specific collaborative and innovative projects, or on Priming projects that scope out detailed project delivery plans including design, costing and planning of infrastructural elements.
In total 47 projects have approval for a total of €3.5 million in grant support under the REISS 2022. Some 15 Projects have approval for REISS Priming Grants of up to €200,000, with the Kinetic Labs South East Life Science cluster development project being one of them.
Announcing REISS 2022 funding
On announcing the funding, Minister Robert Troy said:
“The nine Regional Enterprise Plans have the capacity to drive job growth and business expansion throughout Ireland. These ambitious plans draw on the established strengths of each region and are focused on ensuring the enterprise ecosystem is equipped to grasp the opportunities of the future. Developing an enterprise ecosystem across Ireland will help deliver jobs and prosperity as outlined in the Regional Enterprise Plans. These plans are about future opportunities and ensuring that Irish enterprise has the capacity and know how to continue to thrive, in both the domestic and international market.
“We need to encourage new innovation and new thinking about how we tackle the significant challenges that business faces and I am sure that many of the projects funded today will go on to become centres of excellence that support of enterprise culture and contribute to local economies.”
Carol Gibbons, Divisional Manager, Regions and Local Enterprise, at Enterprise Ireland said:
“Supporting the delivery of balanced economic growth is a fundamental corner stone of Enterprise Irelands strategy. Two thirds of the employment in businesses we support are located outside Dublin and make a huge contribution to local economies. It is important that this momentum is maintained. The funding announced today supports the future economic development of the regions, ensuring that business can access the support and expertise necessary to compete and win in a rapidly changing business environment.”
Developing a Life Sciences cluster for South East Ireland
Opened in January 2021, Kinetic Labs is the South East’s principal laboratory rental location space. The priming project aims to build on Kinetic Labs objectives to establish the physical Kinetic Labs facility, the associated industry and SETU ecosystem as the focal point for a regional Life Science cluster. Such a cluster can facilitate the generation and transfer of knowledge, promote productivity, and new business formation.
The importance of establishing a Life Science cluster in the South East of Ireland region was highlighted in the recent Regional Enterprise Plan to 2024 South East, and cluster development has also been identified by IDA (Driving recovery & sustainable growth strategy 2021-2024) as a key regional development requirement to attract FDI to the regions.
Using this funding, Kinetic Labs will assess the current picture of the cluster’s competitive position; build an understanding of the cluster’s processes and value chain; the quality and quantity of relationships between the participants and an understanding of the key challenges and opportunities that will help shape the future direction of a South East life science cluster.
According to Cormac Johnston, General Manager at Kinetic Labs,
“Kinetic Labs is playing a leading role in the establishment of a Life Sciences cluster for South East Ireland. This funding will assist in developing the building blocks to drive life science innovation within the South East and the larger Irish enterprise ecosystem. Our aim is to create an ecosystem that will build future growth and collaboration across the whole Life Science sector, sustain regional enterprise and create jobs at all levels.”
Leveraging existing public investment and private infrastructure
The priming project builds strategically on leveraging the infrastructure of Kinetic Labs that was developed through Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), Waterford City & County Council and Private funding. Using Kinetic Labs as the hub for this scoping project strengthens the clustering concept by providing a physical location and centralised site for the cluster to congregate. Its location alongside a range of Life Science companies, local and national governmental support agencies as well as is its close proximity to the adjoining SETU Waterford Campus and the PMBRC, SEAM and TSSG Gateway centres is an additional positive consideration in enabling the work to be inclusive and collaborative.
The longer-term development of the cluster will leverage this existing infrastructure for the development of innovation in the life science industry across the whole region.
Interested in finding out more about the South East Life Sciences cluster development project?
Kinetic Labs wishes to engage with regional stakeholders across the entire Life Science space. We are looking to hear from both large and small life science companies across the South East region.