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09/01/2002

IRISH ENTERPRISE MINISTER LAUNCHES DIGITAL HUB INITIATIVE

Ireland's Minister for Public Enterprise Mary O'Rourke has launched the first phase of The Digital Hub - an Irish Government initiative administered through the Department of Public Enterprise - with the publication of ‘The Strategy Document’ that sets out a framework for the project to 2010.
The Digital Hub is a development project to cluster Irish and international new media companies, research and development, and learning & training initiatives in the Liberties area of Dublin.
The core development is about nine acres and is located on either side of Thomas Street, in the Guinness brewery area. Media Lab Europe - an alliance between the Government and MIT Media Laboratory - is a third level research and innovation centre already located in The Digital Hub.
The Government through the Department of Public Enterprise has already committed public funds of €130 million for The Digital Hub, and for Media Lab Europe. This includes the acquisition of property by the Office of Public Works for Digital Media Development and Media Lab Europe.
O' Rourke announced the following initiatives to be delivered in the First Phase of development in 2002 and 2003: Implementation of high-speed broadband infrastructure in the immediate area - a priority for digital media companies - funded by the Department of Public Enterprise €2.24 million. (Completion: mid 2002); Refurbishment of the landmark 1930's Printworks building for a mix of digital media companies, meeting places and a network operations centre. (Completion: 2003); The Liberties Learning Initiative - a project developed by The Digital Hub in support of the recommendations of the Liberties/Coombe Integrated Area Plan (IAP) Advisory Group on The Digital Hub. Guinness sponsorship of £1million in 2002 - 2003.
O’Rourke said: "With broadband connectivity and by taking advantage of other innovations in technology, The Digital Hub will also address local issues such as 'the digital divide' through the Liberties Learning Initiative, that is being supported by Guinness.”
The Strategy Document presents plans for the First Phase to 2003. It also provides a framework for private sector investment and on-going consultation with all stakeholders in furthering the ambitious longer-term vision for The Digital Hub to 2010, the delivery of which will be determined by global and national economic conditions and the rapidly changing digital media sector over the next two years. (CD)
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