Ireland’s first ever sports business cluster is to be established with a target of creating 500 jobs within five years. The development of the cluster is in association with W2 Consulting, University of Limerick and Innovate Limerick.
The National Sports Business Cluster is to be established in Limerick, where 500 people are already employed in sports, and will platform from the elite sporting facilities established at the likes of UL’s sports campus, LIT’s Sportslab (Europe’s leading strength and conditioning centre) in Thurles and a range of companies involved in other sports related activities, from sports tech to nutrition companies, in Limerick and its catchment.
Unveiling plans for the new Limerick cluster, Dr. Pat Daly, Head of Economic Development & Planning at Limerick City and County Council said that establishing formal clusters can help redress economic development imbalances in Ireland by growing employment, not through indigenous companies which benefit most from establishment of formal clusters.
International experience, he said, is that clusters also enhance competitiveness across smart specialisations, enhance innovation, accelerate entrepreneurship and have a positive impact on the growth rate of average wages.
Among the objectives of the National Sports Business Cluster will be:
- Attracting multinational investment while fostering Micro enterprise and SME industry in sport related business
- Incorporating a sports industry economic strategy in future regional and national economic planning
- Establish areas of specialisation within sport innovation
- Develop a House of Sport site as the national start up centre for sports entrepreneurs
- Create a national and international profile for Limerick as an industrial sport industry hub
- Develop a ‘sport tech lab’ to link 3rd level and industry in specialist research and development areas