New life sciences incubation and acceleration facility to open in Dublin

Facility will allow researchers to explore and test ideas to grow businesses in field

Early stage life sciences entrepreneurs and researchers will be able to use the facility to help explore their ideas, test them, and grow their business. Photograph: iStock

Early stage life sciences entrepreneurs and researchers will be able to use the facility to help explore their ideas, test them, and grow their business. Photograph: iStock

 

A new life-sciences incubation and acceleration facility is to open in Dublin, providing lab, office and collaboration space for more than 100 professionals, entrepreneurs, and researchers in the sector.

The 2,787 sq m (30,000 sq ft) facility at The Campus in Cherrywood, Co Dublin, is being being backed by Spear Street Capital, which owns and operates properties across the United States, Canada and Europe. Incubator operator We are Pioneer Group, formerly BioCity, will run the facility.

Early-stage life sciences entrepreneurs and researchers will be able to use the facility to help explore their ideas, test them, and grow their business.

“Start-ups in our space can’t operate like start-ups in the digital space,” said Toby Reid, executive director at We are Pioneer Group (WAPG). “You need more than a beanbag, a Macbook and a beer fridge to get it started. You need fully functional labs with the right equipment and people who understand the work you are trying to do.

“Early-stage, good-quality early-stage businesses don’t just happen. If they did, they’d be a queue of them outside our front door.”

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Spear Street Capital is investing a total of €20 million in The Campus, with €6 million directly in the WAPG-run accelerator space. It will include shared and private wet labs and offices, with six medium-scale laboratories, 12 starter laboratories, common areas with glass conference pods and nine office units with enough room for up to 20 life science companies of varying sizes. It can support up to 100 life sciences jobs in each cohort.

Next generation

“We create special ecosystems where unique industries and entrepreneurial people can come together and execute on their core functions in special environments, where they can attract the highest quality talent, where they can have an environment where other companies that have high quality talent all come together in these unique environments,” said Rajiv Patel, president of Spear Street Capital. “Our goal is where it is the epicentre of life science activity for Ireland and overall technology generation for the country.”

The campus as a whole has nine buildings, covering around 60,387 sq m (650,000 sq ft), with the potential for the additional of around 21,368 sq m (230,000 sq ft) with future development.

“The goal would be that We Are Pioneer Group helps incubate the next generation of successful companies, and we have the infrastructure and the scale to house their growth,” said Mr Patel.

Businesses at the Cherrywood facility will be linked to more than 600 life science companies and industry-leading mentors and entrepreneurs throughout the WAPG network.

They will also benefit from regular accelerator and venture development programmes for the cohorts of life sciences start-ups that come through the facility. This will offer coaching in entrepreneurial and scientific excellence, advice on the likely routes to investment and how best to bring their products or services to the market.

Mr Reid said Cherrywood would be a key location for WAPG, allowing it to build meaningful links with academics, governments, councils, researchers, and pharmaceutical firms. The Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics, which is a network of Irish academic data analytics experts focused on life science and health data, will showcase its research and collaboration with the industry. Discussions are said to be at an advanced stage with the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training , about the establishment of a satellite lab and operation at Cherrywood.

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