Galway City Innovation District (GCID) / Ceantar Nuálaíochta Chathair na Gaillimhe

An overview of this growing innovation cluster in Galway's inner city.


In 2015, the Galway startup ecosystem was suffering from the lack of a downtown hub for startup companies to locate in – either indigenous and international. As participants in FDI company visits, the GCID founders were dismayed when many potential incoming companies chose not to locate in Galway for this reason. Also, it seemed that an opportunity was being lost in not allowing Galway’s innovation-driven enterprises to cluster and thrive together. The non-profit Galway City Innovation District (GCID) was founded by some experienced like-minded volunteers in July 2015 to address this particular problem. Its purpose was to attract creators, innovators and entrepreneurs who wish to work in close proximity to others in a supportive and connected environment in Galway's inner city, as well as young technology companies with strong growth potential and, eventually, larger companies and multinationals.


We started with the PorterShed, a downtown innovation hub that houses high-potential startups, innovation-driven entrepreneurs, a coworking space, and an open events area for workshops/talks. The PorterShed opened in May 2016, with the aim of showing how well this could work and to make the case for expansion into additional buildings and spaces.


The Galway City Innovation District (GCID) has been located behind Ceannt Station since 2016. It will move to a new location between Bowling Green and Market Street in 2020-2021.


PorterShed 1 (for startups) will relocate to Naughton's Shed on Bowling Green in 2020, and PorterShed 2 (for scaleups) will locate in the adjacent Connacht Tribune offices on Market Street in 2021.


  • Ireland's fastest growing city
  • European Capital of Culture 2020
  • Second micro European city of the future (fDi Magazine, 2016/2017)
  • Top micro European city of the future (fDi Magazine, 2014/2015)
  • The friendliest city in the world (Travel + Leisure, 2015)
  • Home to many ICT multinationals and high-growth startups
  • One of five global hubs in the medtech sector
  • 9 out of the top 10 medtech companies are on its doorstep
  • UNESCO City of Film (one of only five in the world)

Innovation Districts

"Innovation districts constitute the ultimate mash up of entrepreneurs and educational institutions, start-ups and schools, mixed-use development and medical innovations, bike-sharing and bankable investments — all connected by transit, powered by clean energy, wired for digital technology, and fueled by caffeine."

The Rise of the Innovation Districts, Bruce Katz and Julie Wagner, Brookings Institution.


The Galway City Innovation District (GCID) is being led by a group of locally-based entrepreneurs and executives.

Board of Directors

Prof. John Breslin
NUI Galway

Niamh Costello
Galway Technology Centre

Dave Cunningham

Evin Cusack

Conor O'Dowd
Port of Galway

Maurice O'Gorman (Chair)
Rocky Shore Partners

Senior Management

Mary Rodgers
PorterShed Innovation Community Manager

Sponsors and Funders

The Galway City Innovation District (GCID) would like to acknowledge the following title sponsors and funders.

PorterShed Title Sponsor

Regional Enterprise Development Fund
Accelerator Development Scheme
Community Enterprise Initiative


Find out more about the Galway City Innovation District (GCID) as it evolves.