IT Carlow R Innovate

IT Carlow leading the way in rural innovation

Kieran Comerford (Carlow County Council), Peadar Casey (Institute of Technology Carlow), Karl Duffy (Carlow County Development Partnership), Deirdre Shine (Bank of Ireland), Cllr. Brian O’ Donoghue (Cathaoirleach, Carlow County Council)

R-Innovate is a pioneering enterprise innovation development programme. It has been designed by the Institute of Technology Carlow and Carlow County Council, to stimulate and support innovation and entrepreneurship in a rural environment.

Funded under the Towns and Village Renewal Scheme, a collaborative, regional enterprise development initiative, R-Innovate is designed to assist individuals and enterprises at various stages of development. With employment opportunities becoming ever more concentrated in urban regions, there is a decoupling of urban and rural economic development.

R-Innovate stems the outflow from rural areas by stimulating rural economies via inclusive and innovative entrepreneurial ecosystems. From start-up to scale-up, it consists of a cross-section of community located workshops, guest speakers and mentoring sessions.

Co-created within the communities of Ballon and Bagenalstown in Co Carlow, R-Innovate created a framework for giving agency to voices within rural communities, fostering indigenous examples of community-driven good practice and valuing diversity of voices and opinions. The programme brought 32 individuals through various stages of the enterprise development cycle, from start, scale and strategic development.

Peadar Casey, Enterprise Development Manager with IT Carlow says, “R-Innovate allows us to transfer knowledge from the Institute’s established Enterprise and Incubation Centre into rural communities. The overall objective of the programme is to assist enterprise development in the Ballon and Bagenalstown areas through knowledge exchange and pursuing a common interest in developing the local economy.”