A college in Waterford says it can help create more than 500 jobs in the next five years as part of a plan to draw down European funding to help start-up businesses.

The Telecommunications, Software and Systems Group (TSSG), which is part of the Waterford Institute of Technology, generated 600 new jobs in the past five years.

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn officially opened NetLabs, a €5m research building at WIT's West Campus.

The minister says the campus takes ideas and turns them into jobs through education, innovation and creation.

Over the past ten years, WIT has received more than €130m in research funding from national, EU and international sources.

The TSSG aims to double its research funding within five years, creating hundreds of new jobs.

The research fund, known as Horizon 2020, is the biggest ever EU innovation programme with nearly €80bn of funding available over seven years.