Featured Article 24 May 2012 May 24th 2012 Silicon Republic Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, is this morning officially opening a new research and innovation centre in Kilkenny. The centre is aiming to be at the forefront of next-generation internet development for the financial services sector.Twenty research staff will initially be based at the Kilkenny Research and Innovation Centre, which is located at St Kieran's College in Kilkenny. However, the headcount is expected to increase over time.The centre has come about as a result of a joint initiative between Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), Institute of Technology Carlow (ITC) and the Kilkenny Local Authorities' Invest Kilkenny campaign.It has evolved from WIT's Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) and ArcLabs. Both entities have created a research and innovation ecosystem for high-potential start-ups in Waterford.ICT expertise hubThe Kilkenny centre will be aiming mirror that HPSU model by creating a hub for ICT expertise and for next-generation internet development for companies in the finance, banking and insurance sectors.It will also look to the expertise that has been built at the Centre for Research and Enterprise for Interactive Applications Software & Networks at ITC, as well as its joint entrepreneur development programme, New Frontiers.Dr Willie Donnelly, head of Research at WIT, said the Kilkenny model will provide direct access to TSSG's research and knowledge base."(The centre) will support the finance operations of major companies, as well as the banking, finance and insurance companies in relation to next-generation internet services and systems and in relation to mobile phone technology. It will also provide incubation space for entrepreneurs in the ICT sector," said Donnelly.John Moore, chairman of ITC, said the primary objective of the Kilkenny Research and Innovation Centre will be to provide a supportive environment for the creation of a new high-growth knowledge-based industry in Kilkenny, as well as improved access to expertise for existing local and regional companies.