Rise of the regions: Which areas of Ireland are winning in tech?

Annestown Beach, Waterford. Image: iStock

Annestown Beach, Waterford. Image: iStock

New data from TechIreland shows that Cork is producing the most tech start-ups, but Limerick got the lion’s share of funding last year.

Ireland’s tech regions are evolving, and integral to their development is the establishment of regional hubs, new data from TechIreland has revealed.

The data is part of baseline research on tech sectors and regions in Ireland, and TechIreland has been building a database that can be searched company by company, sector by sector and investor by investor.

‘The importance of a central hub or physical building to a sense of innovation and the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in a town or region cannot be overestimated’

The data tracks more than 1,725 companies, including 341 multinationals and 213 investors, as well as 118 tech hubs. It revealed that 283 out of 1,725 companies are led by women founders. About 69 companies around Ireland were founded in 2017 and, overall, 183 tech companies received funding last year.

In terms of the volume of tech companies in Ireland’s regions, 142 are based in Cork, followed by 105 in Galway and 63 in Limerick.

However, when it came to funding, Limerick captured the largest amount in 2017 with €72.7m raised by seven companies, compared with Cork, where 25 firms raised €22.8m between them last year.

Cork is the most active sector, with tech companies operating in agritech/food, consumer/e-commerce, edutech, enterprise solutions, entertainment/sports, green/energy, health, industrial technologies, security, and social media and advertising.

Graph: Tech Ireland

Graph: Tech Ireland

Summing up the findings, TechIreland CEO Niamh Bushnell said that in terms of sentiment, job creation is still more prized than innovation, making FDI a bigger priority for some regions over indigenous ecosystems.

While three regions – Cork, Limerick and Galway – dominate in terms of activity, connectivity and geography is a big problem for other regions.

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TSSG participates to the Research Data Alliance (RDA) EU Innovation Forum

woman holding tablet device and worldwide communication network concept, IoT(Internet of Things), ICT(Information Communication Technology), CPS(Cyber-Physical Systems), abstract


Research Data sharing without barriers is a key important topic and a necessity as an enabler to actively encourage and facilitate progressive and impactful research. The Research Data Alliance provides a neutral space where its members from over 133 countries come together to develop and adopt infrastructure that actively promotes data driven research and sharing, working to integrate interested stakeholders across domains and jurisdictions. The RDA EU Innovation Forum 2018 actively debates the challenges, issues and need for education and awareness raising around accessible and reusable data across borders, across different sectors and also different types of organisations (research, public and private).

The Telecommunications Software and Systems Group of Waterford Institute of Technology (TSSG‐WIT), through their expertise in technologies relating to data analysis, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and next generation internet, actively keep abreast of current and emerging directives, policies and challenges in this space, in order to effectively feed in their ongoing research strategies and projects. Having an in‐depth view on EU directives (Directive 96/9/EC, Directive EU 2013/37), the digital single market directive and the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), places TSSG-WIT at the forefront providing consultation and guidance on new innovations relating to Data processing, storage and usage challenges and compliance, impacting across multiple sectors such as smart manufacturing, smart agriculture, energy grids, telecoms, automotive. Enhancing current research, TSSG-WIT feeds this valuable knowledge base into active EU H2020 research projects that they lead; For example ‘ that aims to establish and enact an open, dynamic and continuous consultation process with all relevant stakeholder groups on a “citizen‐centric” quest to discover their needs for the next generation internet and EU H2020 research project ‘ CareLink ’ committed to delivering a low‐cost, location and proximity monitoring system suitable for Dementia sufferers, and where due to the sensitivity of the subject matter, strict rules on data protection and access need to be applied.

Technical Lead Frances Cleary from TSSG, Waterford Institute of Technology, attended the RDA EU Innovation Forum 2018 event in Brussels on January 30th , 2018 and actively fed back into TSSG-WIT’s internal special interest groups, supporting knowledge sharing and dissemination for greater impact. In addition, attendance at this prestigious event enabled the active promotion of the ‘ Consultation platform and Knowledge Base through the distribution of NGI flyers distribution and a dedicated roll up on NGI.

TSSG Research featured in MIT Technology Review.

Storing data in DNA is a lot easier than getting it back out.

But a method bacteria use to swap genetic information could offer a way.

Humanity is creating information at an unprecedented rate—some 16 zettabytes every year (a zettabyte is one billion terabytes). And this rate is increasing. Last year, the research group IDC calculated that we’ll be producing over 160 zettabytes every year by 2025.

All this data has to be stored, and as a result we need much denser memory than we have today. One intriguing solution is to exploit the molecular structure of DNA. Researchers have long known that DNA can be used for data storage—after all, it stores the blueprint for making individual humans and transmits it from one generation to the next.

What’s impressive for computer scientists is the density of the data that DNA stores: a single gram can hold roughly a zettabyte.

But nobody has come up with a realistic system for storing data in a DNA library and then retrieving it again when it is needed.

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Junior Software Developer x 2 (Ref. No. 019979)

Job Title: Junior Software Developer x 2 (Ref. No. 019979)
Department: TSSG ( , PAS
Location: Waterford
Commencement Date:Immediately
Minimum Qualification Required: Degree


Working on a diverse range of collaborative research projects, contributing to state of the art analysis, system architecture specification, software development and concept/prototype development, both internally within the TSSG and as part of distributed research team.

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Irish team leads landmark dementia care project

Gary McManus, Project Lead on Carelink at TSSG

Gary McManus, Project Lead on Carelink at TSSG

€2.5 million Carelink project to reduce stress for caregivers and dramatically increase the survival rates of wandering patients


TECHNOLOGY experts at one of Ireland’s leading research and innovation centres have teamed up with partners in Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland and Portugal and are the overall coordinators of a ground-breaking, practical and pragmatic project with potentially life-changing impacts on dementia sufferers and their careers

Carelink will reduce stress for caregivers, dramatically increase the survival rates of wandering patients and will promote low-cost, community-based caring into the future, experts at the Telecommunications, Software and Systems Group (TSSG) at Waterford Institute of Technology say.

It’s a 30 month, €2.5 million project, funded under the European Commission’s Active and Assisted Living (AAL) programme’s, 2016 call for proposals under the heading ‘Living with Dementia’.

Acting Director of Research at TSSG, Dr. Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, said it is significant that the TSSG at WIT is coordinating the project. “Tracking dementia patients both indoors and outdoors has always been a major challenge. We are now seeing numerous applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) into the healthcare sector, and by combining it with Artificial Intelligence, we are hoping this will further improve the tracking of dementia patients in a low-cost manner.”

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