Last month Trinity College Dublin unveiled proposals for a new innovation district in the capital.

The blueprint would see an area of land near the Grand Canal basin transformed into a concentration of start-up businesses, established companies as well as research, education and community facilities.

The plan envisages a new €1 billion TCD technology and innovation campus at a 5.5 acre site near Grand Canal Quay and Macken St.

A major local consultation process with stakeholders is to take place around the project.

Dr Diarmuid O'Brien is Chief Innovation and Enterprise Officer with Trinity College. 

He has led the development of the proposal.

Mr O'Brien said over the past decade or so, around the world, cities have created innovation districts to improve competitiveness.

"They provide that critical mass, density, and proximity of talent that drives enhanced enterprise investment and enhanced innovation, and that's really what we're looking to create in Dublin."

He said that the new innovation district is planned to be "an innovation equivalent to the IFSC - it's a new city quarter that's going to have innovation at its heart.

"Already we've got around 40,000 people employed in that part of the city."

Three consultation sessions are set to take place with project stakeholders in September.

Mr O'Brien said the objective of these sessions is to "begin to find ways from the enterprise community to understand how they would like to see that part of the city shaped and programmed to really activate the people working in their businesses".

The Trinity College Chief Innovation and Enterprise Officer said he is looking for companies to embrace the idea that "we need to move beyond just co-locating beside each other and begin to work together".

He added: "The environments that are most successful are those that find that bridge between the start-up communities, the scale-up companies, the large companies and the universities.

"What we have in Dublin at the moment is islands of activity that aren't really connected.

"What we hope the innovation district will do is connect those different islands together and how that normally happens is you programme the areas - and programme is kind of a generic phrase in many ways which describes holding events, activities, networking, collaboration that brings people out of the offices ... and provides them the opportunity to connect with each other."

Mr O'Brien it will be key to make sure the plan is developed in a way that is consistent with and respects the local community in the area in Dublin.

He added no "significant opposition" is expected to the plan but stakeholders will have their own "wants" from the project and TCD is very open to consultation.

The next step after the consultation process will be to create a master plan for the broader innovation district.

"Then moving from there to creating some early activation on the site that's really going to begin to drive that sense of placemaking and a new city quarter that we're trying to establish."

All going to plan, the Grand Canal Innovation District is expected to be up-and-running in 2019, but the new €1 billion campus that's planned "will really evolve over the next seven to ten years there," according to the TCD Chief Innovation and Enterprise Officer.