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gteic — a Gaeltacht game changer

Feature image courtesy of gteic@AnSpidéal

Looking for a remote working space? Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta, tell says it’s time to look in the Gaeltacht regions.

If you picture Ireland’s biggest digital hub network, you probably associate it with busy urban locations, crammed spaces and congestion.

So it might come as a surprise to hear that the largest remote and co-working network in Ireland is not located in Dublin, Cork or Limerick, but in some of the most beautiful and remote Gaeltacht regions in Ireland.

With over 30 gteic digital hubs providing over 700 workspaces planned for the Gaeltacht, 18 hubs are already open or on the cusp of opening, making gteic the biggest such network in Ireland by a considerable margin.

gteic, as a concept, was launched by Údarás na Gaeltachta in 2018, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and the accompanying new focus on remote rural working. Údarás is responsible for ensuring a thriving Gaeltacht community and the thinking behind providing a network of digital work spaces in the Gaeltacht was to provide spaces for start-ups, concept developers and remote working facilities for people who want to live in the Gaeltacht.

Tá an Ghaeltacht nascaithe — Bí linn! /

The Gaeltacht is connected —

Forged links worldwide

The gteic network is made up of 31 digital hubs of various sizes located in all Gaeltacht regions, from the very north of Donegal to Cape Clear off the Co. Cork coast. gteic hubs are tailored to suit each unique location, offer high quality office spaces, include hot desk and shared space facilities for remote workers and eworkers in addition to fully equipped office spaces and incubation units with excellent broadband connectivity to facilitate innovation and concept development.

These hubs facilitate people who wish to develop a business concept, grow their start-up and also provide access to Údarás na Gaeltachta’s range of mentoring and business supports.

“The gteic network is a game changer for Gaeltacht areas and communities,” says Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta. “Ireland’s Gaeltacht Areas have the potential to provide businesses of all types with a perfect base from which to be connected with the world while enjoying world class work life balance for their employees.”

“Our gteic network of digital &innovation hubs have forged links worldwide through the fantastic companies that have set up and relocated there and Údarás na Gaeltachta will continue to support and develop this burgeoning digital ecosystem. The gteic network eliminates any perceived obstacles to living in the picturesque rural areas of Ireland and connecting with people and businesses worldwide.”

Údarás na Gaeltachta is the state development agency with responsibility for the economic, social and cultural development of Ireland’s Gaeltacht regions. The Údarás na Gaeltachta strategy is focused on employment creation in Gaeltacht regions, on community development and the preservation of Irish as a community language.

Údarás places a strong emphasis on the sustainable development of the region’s natural resources and on promoting innovation and creativity in projects and communities throughout the region. It has developed and is promoting a unique Gaeltacht brand ‘Gaeltacht na hÉireann’.

An opportunity of improved work life balance is not the only benefit of gteic membership! A reciprocal arrangement agreed with the Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin means that any member of the GEC can avail of the gteic facilities anywhere along the network and members of the gteic digital community can avail of the facilities in GEC in Dublin free of charge.

Business minded work environment

Some studies with remote workers have shown that the speed of the broadband or avoidance of commute are not necessarily the main or only requirement of remote workers. It is often cited that a business minded work environment, a place to connect with other people and avail of new opportunities and a good atmosphere are most important in coworking spaces.

“The wide range of businesses operating successfully throughout the Gaeltacht region and especially within our gteic network, are testimony to the fact that Businesses can thrive in these regions. Working at world-class standard producing products and services that are exported all over the world,” Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh added. “We would like to invite people to be part of our ever-growing network of entrepreneurs, innovators and remote workers who are operating in our gteic network with world-class facilities and excellent connectivity in all parts of our culturally vibrant Gaeltacht region. The gteic network will be central to providing opportunities for remote working, especially for the Gaeltacht diaspora looking to return home after the pandemic. ”

Learn more about the gteic network

30 gteic digital hubs providing over 700 workspaces

· New vibrant gigabit community for businesses, innovators, entrepreneurs and remote workers

· 16 hubs currently operational in five counties

· 15 hubs to be operational before year end

· 450+ desk spaces currently available (inclusive of COVID-19 restrictions)

· 660+ desk spaces developed, up to 700 spaces expected by the end of 2021

· Fantastic work/life balance offering

gteic Gréasán Digiteach na Gaeltachta is a network of 31 innovation & digital hubs with high speed broadband being developed by Údarás na Gaeltachta in locations throughout Ireland’s Gaeltacht Area. The innovation hubs are to be dotted along the majestic Wild Atlantic Way in DonegalMayoGalwayKerry and Cork in addition to Waterford and Meath in Ireland’s Ancient East. Six Gaeltacht islands also form part of this growing digital ecosystem to support the sustainability of these communities and off-shore islands.

Sixteen hubs are open and operating (socially distant!) to date in:

Gaoth Dobhair, Cill Charthaigh, Árainn Mhór, Na Dúnaibh in Co. Donegal,

Béal an Mhuirthead, Acaill, An Eachléim in Co. Mayo,

Carna, An Cheathrú Rua, An Spidéal and Na Forbacha in Co. Galway,

Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh in Co. Cork and the

Baile an Sceilg, Daingean Uí Chúis (Mol Teic/Dingle hub) in Co. Kerry.

The vision

The development of gteic Gréasán Digiteach na Gaeltachta network of innovation and digital hubs is one of five key initiatives included in the Údarás na Gaeltachta Strategic Plan 2021–2025.

The gteic digital hubs will provide a vibrant network of high speed broadband facilities in rural Gaeltacht areas to stimulate job creation, to assist remote working, to encourage and enable the return of Diaspóra na Gaeltachta, to facilitate concept development and new business and to develop a community of hubs where the unique Gaeltacht culture drives creativity and innovation.

The opportunity

These developments will give the Gaeltacht community, both at home and abroad, an opportunity to return to or live in their home area by providing remote working opportunities at hot desks, co-working spaces or private offices at these hubs. This in turn will support, bolster and assist these unique language communities and help them to face the challenges of rural depopulation.

The offering

This growing digital ecosystem is providing an excellent opportunity for new technology companies to establish or locate themselves in the rural areas which encompass the Gaeltacht and for their employees to enjoy the excellent worklife balance that these picturesque areas can offer.

The gteic network will encompass hubs of varying sizes depending on location. The facilities and services available at the primary and larger hubs will include the following and a flexibility to easily adapt to the needs of customer types. Some of the smaller hubs to be developed will focus on hot desk and coworking spaces primarily.

The cost

The cost of renting hot desks, co working spaces and private offices will vary across gteic hubs depending on facilities available, geographical location, profile and demographics of the area.

In line with specific hub facilities, three primary offerings will be available with further specific packages and promotions available from individual hubs on an ongoing basis depending on application type and proposed tenure — hot desk spaces, co working locations and private office space.

Facilities available at gteic hubs:

Hot desks, conference room, coworking spaces, video conferencing, incubator units, meeting/training spaces, private offices, ample car parking, gigabit enabled broadband, vibrant enterprise cluster, high-speed Wifi, shared refreshment and breakout facilities.

Find further information on the gteic digital hub network at www.gteic.ie. If you have any queries about any gteic hub or supports available please email BanM@gteic.ie or eolas@udaras.ie

Source: londonirishbusinesssociety.medium.com

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