Orla Martin, of the Offaly Local Enterprise Office, told a recent meeting that good news is on the way because the STREAM Creative Suite, costing about €460,000, will be opened in Birr Technology Centre in the near future.
Ms Martin told the monthly meeting of Birr 20:20 that the STREAM Creative Suite will be a natural extension to the I-LOFAR Project.
I-LOFAR provides “a unique opportunity to access big data in real time,” she remarked. “This data can be utilised for training purposes and for proving algorithms for many sectors.
“Professors and researchers of universities affiliated with the international LOFAR network, together with Software Developers and Data Analysts from companies operating within or in cooperation with companies based in the Midland Region will have the opportunity to use the STREAM Creative Suite – either through regular hot desk usage or through the establishment of a base there.”
She said the space will comprise an open plan work area for researchers, a training room and smaller office spaces.
The programme will also include a residential / visiting researcher programme, support for workshops, summer internships, and training in Data Analytics and related topics.
The Creative Suite will bring together researchers and practitioners in areas such as the visual arts, multi-media, technology and astronomy, who share a common interest in Big Data.
She said it’s planned to launch STREAM at the end of February. “We have already appointed a Business Development Manager, Caitriona Montgomery, and she is talking to possible tenants.
“STREAM stands for Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts and Maths. There are several companies already in Birr Tech Centre. An individual can rent a desk for €170, which covers all costs including electricity, which is astonishing good value. There are eight employees from Oran Precast in the Tech Centre at the moment; and there are accountancy firms, Telecom employees, Build4Less and JP Mannings in the premises as well.
“STREAM will be similar to the Junction Business Innovation Centre in Tullamore, which is very successful, is focussed on software design and renewable energies, and has about 20 permanents tenants. It’s also similar to E-hive in Edenderry which opened in the summer and has about five or six permanent tenants.”
She said all the STREAM tenants will be using the opportunities presented by I-LOFAR and it will be a good thing for Birr. “Remote working is becoming more popular as people are trying to get away from commuting. For example the eight employess of Oran asked their employer if they could work from Birr Tech Centre rather than commute to Oranmore each day. They were delighted when told they could. It significantly improved their quality of life.”