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€3.25 million Questum Centre Officially Opened in Clonmel

Partnership between LIT and Tipperary County Council is focused on growing innovative firms and creating employment

LIT’s new €3.25m Questum enterprise centre was officially opened on Monday (October 17th) at Ballingarrane Science and Technology Park by Minister of State for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen T.D

The centre, which will focus on promising early-stage innovative companies, is a partnership between LIT and Tipperary County Council. Questum has already begun to generate significant economic benefits, with clients of the centre numbering some of the most innovative businesses in the region, including OneBox Vision; Covectra; Eirchrom; Anu Pictures; Gravitate; Vision ID; A&C Chemicals Europe and Commitas.

Minister of State Pat Breen TD speaking at the opening of Questum
Minister of State Pat Breen TD speaking at the opening of Questum
Dr. Liam Browne, Vice President of LIT speaking at the opening of Questum
Dr. Liam Browne, Vice President of LIT speaking at the opening of Questum
Prof Vincent Cunnane, President of LIT, Pat Breen TD, Minister of State, Cllr. Siobhan Ambrose, Chair of Tipperary County Council and Joe McGrath, CEO of Tipperary County Council at the opening of Questum
Prof Vincent Cunnane, President of LIT, Pat Breen TD, Minister of State, Cllr. Siobhan Ambrose, Chair of Tipperary County Council and Joe McGrath, CEO of Tipperary County Council at the opening of Questum
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Speaking at the launch, Minister Breen commented

“Questum is a great example of what can be achieved through collaboration. The partnership between LIT and Tipperary County Council has already resulted in in excess of €3.5m in annual economic impact from the 23 high value jobs already created by its new resident clients. Questum is the first centre of activity on the 300 acre Ballingarrane Science & Technology Park, 50 of which is owned by the IDA, and it is envisaged that there will be spin outs from Questum who will help to further develop the park as they grow.”

"Questum exists to provide new ventures with four supports crucial to their viability," said Prof Vincent Cunnane, President of LIT. "The first is an infrastructure and physical space in which to operate. Secondly and more important to the success of new ventures is the access to industry experts, the full LIT Enterprise and R&D team and a peer network who can help direct budding entrepreneurs through the process for launching an innovative enterprise. Thirdly is access to a network of funders including Enterprise Ireland, the LEO and business angels and LIT are delighted to have the Dr Tony Ryan Entrepreneurship Fund for Tipperary designed to help support the start-ups during those early seed stages and fourthly is access to innovative R&D support and partnership opportunities"

According to Dr Liam Brown, VP Research, Enterprise and Development at LIT

“Clients of the centre will also benefit from the expertise of business and technology leaders, including Entrepreneur in Residence Pat McGrath. Pat is non-executive chairman - International Development at PM Group which provides project management support across a range of sectors including biopharmaceutical, medical technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, cleantech/greentech, energy and food/nutrition. Pat sits on a number of other boards across the sectors including for an IT and service company and his expertise and support will be of huge value to the startups and growing companies in Questum. LIT has also put in place a new Research, Enterprise and Development Advisory Board for the benefit of helping all its stakeholders. The board consists of successful entrepreneurs with experience in various roles critical to growing an enterprise as well as individuals with senior executive experience in multinationals and representatives from Enterprise Ireland and the IDA.”

Clients in Questum have the option to occupy one or more of 16 plug-and-play office suites in the 18,500-square foot building with a co-working space for the new LEAP Startup Programme participants. The centre offers a broad range of services, including access to an intellectual property advisor, mentoring, access to professional service providers, community networking events, investor matchmaking and more.

Cllr. Siobhan Ambrose, chair of Tipperary County Council, told attendees at the opening how the development at the Ballingarrane site was

“a result of a vision from the Tipperary County Council dating back to 2008 to develop the site to attract business to the region. Questum is just the start, we hope to continue with the development of the 300 acre fully serviced Ballingarrane Science & Technology Park site and to continue to work with partners like LIT, the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to build a thriving business ecosystem here in Clonmel”.

Typical clients, who will be well looked after by manager and mentor Derek Blackweir, will remain at the centre for up to four years as they grow, then move on -- either into longer-term space in the Ballingarrane Science & Technology Park, or somewhere else in the region, where they will maintain a connection to the centre, acting as a resource or mentor for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the event was serial entrepreneur Adrian Fleming who said,

“the power of a centre like Questum is not in its great architecture but it the activity and peer network support. When you are working on a problem at 3 in the morning you are guaranteed that fellow entrepreneurs in the centre will be there with you… helping you with your business and giving that time out of their own. The power of that kind of support in addition to the support from LIT, EI and LEO will help all the companies that are in a centre like Questum to flourish”​​

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