The Government has agreed that Level 5 (with some amendments) as set out in the Plan for Living with COVID-19 will continue to apply nationally until further notice. The Government has clearly stated that there is a continued need to minimise the level of mobility and congregation of people in order to reduce all opportunities for transmission of the virus.

Please note that our library buildings have reopened to the public for Browsing Services and Contact & Collect since Monday, May 10th. Please see Library Page.

Consequently, and in line with current public health guidance, the Offices of Offaly County Council are closed for walk-in services to support this reduced mobility policy.

Public access cannot be facilitated during LEVEL 5 restrictions. Therefore, Offaly County Council services will be available by telephone, email, online post and only where absolutely necessary and in exceptional circumstances by appointment. Please read latest information.

STREAM Creative Suite – €458,240 for Birr

STREAM Creative Suite – €458,240 for Birr

Offaly Innovation & Design Centre CLG in partnership with Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Offaly, Offaly County Council and I-LOFAR has been awarded €458,240 from the Enterprise Ireland Regional Development Fund to establish “STREAM Creative Suite” in Birr Technology Centre.

Orla Martin, Head of Enterprise in LEO Offaly explained that STREAM Creative Suite will be a natural extension to the I-LOFAR Project. The I-LOFAR radio telescope, situated in Birr Castle, is the Irish Station in the largest radio telescope in the world. There are 52 LOFAR Stations across Europe, generating 3 Gbps per station, over 150 Gigabits per second, more than 6 Petabytes per year.

Unique Opportunities with I-LOFAR in Birr

  • The Irish Station, part of the largest radio telescope in the world
  • Primary (currently only) access to the biggest source of big data
  • Policy Support for I-LOFAR Project – Offaly County Council Local Economic & Community Plan (LECP) and Action Plan for Jobs: Midland Region
  • Builds on rich astronomical heritage of Birr Castle Gardens & Science Centre
  • Increases potential for Science Tourism
  • Increases potential for STEM Education and Outreach (Newly opened I-LOFAR Education Centre is set to deliver range of Space related camps and workshops for students and teachers)
  • Creates compelling proposition for IDA to attract FDI Big Data Companies to Birr/Midlands

 I-LOFAR provides a unique opportunity to access big data in real time. This data can be utilised for training purposes and for proving algorithms for many sectors. Professors and researchers of universities affiliated with the international LOFAR network together with Software Developers and Data Analysts from companies operating within or in cooperation with companies based in the Midland Region will have the opportunity to use the STREAM Creative Suite – either through regular hot desk usage or through the establishment of a base there.

The space will comprise an open plan work area for researchers, a training room and smaller office spaces. The programme will also include a residential/visiting researcher programme, support for workshops, summer internships, and training in Data Analytics and related topics. The funding will also support the salary costs of a manager who will be hired for 3 years to run the suite and develop future activities.

The Creative Suite will bring together researchers and practitioners in areas such as the visual arts, multi-media, technology and astronomy, who share a common interest in Big Data.

Offaly County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr. Danny Owens welcomed the news and acknowledged the collaborative efforts those who made the successful application: Offaly County Council’s Chief Executive, Ms. Anna Marie Delaney; Head of Enterprise, Ms. Orla Martin; Prof. Peter Gallagher, I-LOFAR Consortium and Mr. Joe Hogan, Founder of Openet.

The STREAM Creative Suite has been developed by Offaly Innovation & Design Centre CLG, Local Enterprise Office Offaly, Offaly County Council and I-LOFAR and is supported by Enterprise Ireland’s Regional Development Fund.