The first in a series of government-funded incubation facilities opened in Ireland this week, designed to nurture the development of biotech companies.
The bioincubator, located in Trinity College university in Dublin, comprises 400 square metres of fully flexible laboratory and serviced office space, and is expected to provide a nurturing 'hot house' environment for early stage biotechnology companies.
"With €500 million being invested in biotech research over five years it is vital that our third level institutions are equally prepared and resourced to catalyse commercialisation of the intellectual property produced from this considerable investment," said Dr Cormac Kilty, chairman of the Irish BioIndustry Association, opening the facility.
Funding for the new bioincubator worth €750,000 came from Enterprise Ireland, a government agency responsible for the development of industry. It is the first of six Enterprise Ireland-funded bioincubators, which are coming on-stream in Irish research institutions in the coming months.
The specialised facilities are expected to provide the appropriate business and scientific support needed for new companies to survive and grow. It is hoped that, along with increased funding for research in the life sciences, the project will generate new commercial technology in the next decade.
The first tenant for the Trinity College bioincubator is IdentiGEN, a company that has developed the world's first DNA-based traceability system for meat (TraceBack) from research initially carried out at the Institute of Genetics at Trinity College.
The system allows retailers to assure consumers of the source of their meat. The Irish and UK Food Control Agencies have also selected IdentiGEN's DNA-testing technology for high-profile studies.