Talent Garden Dublin, the latest facility in Europe’s largest network of digital innovation hubs, was opened last month in Dublin City University (DCU) Alpha, the university’s dedicated innovation campus.

Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe, TD, officially opened the new hub, which will provide members with the chance to build a thriving digital ecosystem.

Intel unveils grand plans for Talent Garden hub

Today, tech giant Intel announced it would have a presence at Talent Garden. The company is seeking to enable an indigenous cohort of AI/computer vision innovators through providing its own technology and a structured technical support and guidance programme.

As well as freelancers and start-ups, Talent Garden also hosts dedicated innovation labs run by large corporations.

Co-founder and CEO of Talent Garden, Davide Dattoli, said that Ireland has “great appeal” and that Talent Garden was inspired by the country’s “nurturing and cultivating entrepreneurial environment”. He added: “[Ireland is] one of the best countries in the world to do business in and has become our most important office in Europe from which to springboard our members globally, particularly in the context of Brexit.”

Pipeline worries

Dattoli spoke about the many concerns with the digital talent pipeline in Ireland. “I am hearing again and again from managers that the lack of a strong pipeline for digital talent is concerning especially for data analysts, e-commerce and digital professionals, and today I am proud to announce details of our Talent Garden Innovation School.”

The school will focus on training in areas such as coding, blockchain and AI as well as design and leadership. Due to open on 30 October, it will provide businesses with assistance on their digital transformation paths.

As well as the innovation school and Intel’s exciting plans, details of Ireland’s first VC-in-residence programme were announced at the launch. “Although co-working facilities will account for 30pc of total corporate work space by 2030, our focus is on building a community of shared values and a dynamic ecosystem of digital innovation where members meet, work, learn and collaborate together,” said Dattoli.

Events such as workshops, fireside chats with global tech leaders, expert advisory sessions, fundraising talks and panel debates will be on offer at the facility.

Accelerating Irish innovation

Donohoe said: “When the Government launched the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, we were especially hoping to see MNCs engage with start-ups and academic institutes in areas such as artificial intelligence and computer vision amongst others. With the launch of Talent Garden Dublin, we now have an innovation platform through which this can be accelerated.”

DCU president Prof Brian MacCraith said: “Operating at the forefront of digital innovation will be central to Ireland’s future prosperity. In that context, we are delighted to have attracted the provider of Europe’s largest network of digital innovation hubs to DCU Alpha.

“More significantly, our exciting digital innovation and skills partnership with Talent Garden will enhance the ability of both organisations to play a central role in the technological transformation taking place in Ireland and across Europe.”

MacCraith added that the Talent Garden Dublin facility “goes way beyond co-working as it is currently understood in Ireland, and into the fields of accredited digital skills training, corporate digital transformation, as well as creating international connectivity for Irish start-ups looking to scale up in other markets”.

Talent Garden Dublin has capacity for more than 350 people and was founded by entrepreneurs Luca Ascani, Salvatore Esposito and Niall O’Connor.

Ellen Tannam

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