AIB has entered a five year partnership with Galway City Innovation District (GCID) to support start-ups and tech businesses in the West of Ireland.
Initially AIB is sponsoring the PorterShed, a former Guiness storehouse, which will house an accelerator programme, high potential start-ups and entrepreneurs as well as providing co-working space for up to 85 people and an open area for workshops and seminars. It is expected to open early next year.
Additional buildings in the area are due to be converted over time and it is envisaged that this 'innovation district' could eventually support up to 20,000 workers. The area is being redeveloped as part of an ambitious project to create a West Coast rival to Dublin’s so called ‘Silicon Docks’, where companies such as Google and Facebook are based.
AIB CEO Bernard Byrne, says: “Developing an innovative district in the heart of Galway can serve as catalyst for high growth companies and is a model that worked in other cities such as Boston. This will help address the economic imbalance between the West of Ireland and the East coast."
The initaitive follows Wednesday's launch of a new trade association intended to provide a single voice for the emerging fintech and payments ecosystem in Ireland and establish the Republic as a leading international financial services hub.