Athlone Institute of Technology

Midlands Innovation and Research Centre


The Midlands Innovation and Research Centre (MIRC) in Athlone and MaynoothWorks in Maynooth jointly deliver the New Frontiers programme in the Midlands Mid-East region. This partnership between Athlone Institute of Technology and Maynooth University means that New Frontiers participants have access to the expertise, facilities and resources of both locations.

The MIRC provides incubation facilities and business development support for innovative and knowledge-based startups and makes available the resources and expertise of AIT to support client companies and enterprise in the region. Whether you are a prospective entrepreneur, a start-up, an existing company committed to ongoing innovation or an academic interested in commercialising your research, the MIRC is open to you.

knowledge-based startups
Innovation Voucher projects completed
High Potential Startups (HPSUs)

What does the MIRC offer?

Incubation units ranging from 14m² to 42m², concept desking, high-speed broadband, boardroom, meeting room and canteen facilities.

Access to the R&D resources of AIT’s Software Research Institute, Materials Research Institute and Bioscience Research Institute, along with the expertise of AIT’s Schools of Business, Science and Engineering.

Business development support: project management, mentoring, one-to-one interventions to accelerate project progression, and networking.  Student placements and collaborative student projects.

The InnovAIT Entrepreneurship Academy for graduate entrepreneurs – led by AIT’s Business School – is based in the MIRC.


The MIRC team

The New Frontiers Programme Manager at Athlone IT is Nick Allen. Nick has 18 years’ experience working as a training consultant and management consultant in the challenging environment of leading corporations in the UK and in delivering value management services to public and corporate sector clients in Ireland and the UK.

Nick Allen

Nick Allen

New Frontiers Programme Manager

090 648 3043

Michael Lonergan

Michael Lonergan

MIRC Manager

090 647 1882

Maynoothworks Owen Laverty

Owen Laverty

MaynoothWorks Manager

01 708 6902

Some of our previous participants

  • Emma-Rose Conroy, Euro Stallions – stallion semen agency
  • Dean Gammell, – software for group bookings
  • Brendan Murphy, Better Energy Management – energy saving products
  • Ian Kerr, Idaso – traffic count/classification technology
  • Keith Harrington, DebaPay – innovative digital exchange
  • Neal McDermott, – mobile ordering solutions
  • Henry Fingleton, Sweepovac – integrated vacuum system

The latest news from the MIRC

Bringing kombucha to the Irish market

Ronan Coughlan and Tracy Armstrong returned to Ireland and founded an organic, craft-brewed Irish kombucha company. Read about their journey on

Workjuggle’s year in startup land

Ciara Garvan, New Frontiers alumna and founder of Workjuggle, shares some hard-won insights into what it takes to be an entrepreneur and startup founder on

Have a startup idea? Register your interest in New Frontiers and one of our Programme Managers will be in touch soon!

Further reading

Still not ready to apply? We have some useful links that might help:

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