The Importance of Innovation Districts: Providing People and Place-based problem solving

Mary Rodgers
Chief Executive Officer at Galway City Innovation District

Innovation districts are dense hubs of economic activity where innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and placemaking intersect. At Galway City Innovation District (GCID), we recently had the opportunity to work with the Global Institute on Innovation Districts.

Galway City Innovation District was one of 25 Innovation Districts who participated in listening sessions facilitated by Pamela Puchalski and Julie Wagner of the Global Institute of Innovation Districts. The purpose of the sessions was to hear local stories across global regions, understand the role of Innovation Districts in rebooting the economy and investigate the agility of Innovation Districts during the pandemic. You can read the full article here.

From an Irish perspective, COVID has focused our ability to look inward for solutions and utilise our existing strengths. Ireland has a robust MedTech sector which has thrived during this pandemic. For tech innovation-driven enterprises, ‘topdown’ relationships have matured and Scale Ireland has created a cohesive platform for National and hyperlocal to engage and problem solve. Leaders have emerged across regions and local has moved from ‘nice to have’ to necessary.

At Galway City Innovation District we have always stressed the importance of peer to peer support, collaborating with the Global Institute on Innovation Districts provides us with an opportunity to ‘collaborate to compete’, each city, region, and country all have something unique to offer it is up to Ireland and specifically the West of Ireland to stand out and demonstrate by actions what a successful Innovation District can deliver.

‘It is Surrounding yourself with people who are thinking, sharing, and acting on ways to move our communities and regions forward.’ that will drive sustainable growth.

Galway City Innovation District is growing, over the next 18 months we will move from our first building the PorterShed to two new buildings in the heart of Galway, our expanded footprint will significantly increase capacity and bring us another step closer to a vibrant downtown Galway City Innovation District.



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