The Mid East Regional Innovation Think Space (MERITS) is one of the winning projects.
The Mid East Regional Innovation Think Space (MERITS) is a funding recipient of the first round of Enterprise Ireland's new €60m Regional Enterprise Development Fund.
Twenty-one successful applicants around the country secured up to €30.5m for their projects in the first competitive call.
Regionally, €14m has been approved for projects in the southern region, over €11m for projects in the eastern and midlands region and over €5m for the northern and western region.
All funding is subject to grant conditions.
The funding is provided by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, through Enterprise Ireland.
Under a competitive call process, Enterprise Ireland sought applications for funding under four streams with varying investment levels:
Stream 1. Major Change Projects - €2m up to €5m per project
Stream 2. Regionally Significant Projects - €250,000 up to €2m per project
Stream 3. Local & Community Enterprise Development Projects - €50,000 up to €250,000 per project
Stream 4. Industry Clusters - €50,000 up to €250,000 per project.
Following a rigorous evaluation process, 21 successful applicants are being offered funding of €30.5m.
The balance of the €60m fund will be made available in the second call which will open for applications in March 2018.
The winners were selected through a stringent evaluation process
Criteria included viability and sustainability, building regional strengths, significance for innovation, impacts and value for money, and collaboration and participation.
The Mid East Regional Innovation Think Space (MERITS) project in Naas is one of the winners.
MERITS is a new build project to cluster Irish and international new-technology companies, and provide mentorship and support in Naas County Kildare.
Stream Two applications to support significant county, regional or multi-regional sectoral and or enterprise initiative grants of €250k up to €2m per project in funding towards capital and current costs. These projects should be focused on delivery of defined enterprise development outputs and impacts.
Naas Mayor Rob Power has said that Kildare County Council will design and build the "Naas IT Hub" on state owned lands next to the council Headquarters at Aras Cill Dara in Naas.
He also said that it puts Naas on the map internationally as a place to start and grow a digital business, and as the Irish Tech sector is witnessing an increasing demand for housing and quality of life for its workers and families, Naas will be in a position to take on any town in Ireland in this respect, and win.
Kildare County Council will provide matching funding and the project could pay for itself within three years.
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