Fianna Fáil Press Office
Cllr Paul McAuliffe
Dublin North West
25 January 2016
Urgent need for more focus on delivery and less on spin when it comes to Action Plan for jobs – McAuliffe
-Failure to find a funding mechanism for Dublin Techshop must be addressed-
Fianna Fáil Leader on Dublin City Council Cllr Paul McAuliffe has called on Enterprise Ireland and the IDA to take a more flexible approach when funding innovative projects such as membership based makerspaces like the Techshop which allows entrepreneurs to develop prototypes and trial new products.
The Chairperson of Dublin City Council Enterprise and Economic Development Committee commented: “Today’s Action Plan for jobs reports that ‘on going discussions are taking place’ despite the project being championed by Dublin City University for almost two years. DCU has the space, they have the partner organisation, they have lined up companies who want to register their employees, they just need state agencies to take action and fund the initial capital cost.
“I’ve seen these centres in operation and they are a hive of enterprise activity. They operate 24 hours a day giving people who are working and setting up a business at the same time the chance to work into the early hours of the morning on their ideas. They are also places where cottage or home based enterprises are mixing with technology students and designers. It’s a melting pot of ideas and we must deliver it for Dublin.
“The Techshop concept was developed in Silicon Valley and has spread across the United States but despite strong interest in Dublin from Dublin City University and Dublin City Council, state agencies have been unable to find a way to fund the development of a Dublin Techshop. The TechShop provides access to tools, software and space. You can make virtually anything and that’s what start-up companies need. Access to this type of equipment in the market would cost them thousands of euro.
“Part fabrication and prototyping studio, part hackerspace and part learning centre, TechShop provides access to over €1 million worth of professional equipment and software all for a monthly membership. It’s like a gym for inventors. They offer instruction and expert staff. The most important element of the centre is the ability to work collaboratively with other entrepreneurs in a creative environment.
“Facilities includes laser cutters, plastics and electronics labs, a machine shop, a wood shop, a metal working shop, a textiles department, welding stations and a waterjet cutter. Members also have open access to design software. It’s simple.
“Companies founded and initially prototyped in TechShop include Square, the revolutionary card reader technology founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey; Lightning Motors Corp, the world’s fastest electric motorcycle manufacturer; and Embrace, a polymer baby blanket to incubate premature babies in the developing world,” added Cllr McAuliffe.