Dogpatch Labs, supported by its partner hubs in Cork, Kerry and Galway, has been awarded the €17m contract to manage the National Digital Research Centre service for the next five years.

Established in 2006, the National Digital Research Centre is a Government initiative to invest in very young digital enterprises and start-ups.

As part of the NDRC deal, Dogpatch Labs Dublin and its regional partners - Portershed Galway, Republic of Work Cork and RDI Hub Kerry - will deliver mentorship-driven accelerator and pre-accelerator programmes, and pre-seed funding to entrepreneurs across Ireland. 

They will invest in globally-focused "high impact" startups, to create world-class internationally scalable Irish companies. 

Ignite, which is the UK's most active regional accelerator, also supported the bid and will provide international support and knowledge sharing with the network.

Dogpatch Labs is located in the CHQ Building at the centre of Dublin's Digital Docklands. 

"As we start the next decade, our vision is to drive a new era for entrepreneurship in Ireland in collaboration with the entire ecosystem," Patrick Walsh, the chief executive of Dogpatch Labs said. 

"To achieve this, locally embedded innovation hubs will ensure that startup supports are delivered across the country," Mr Walsh said.

"With international experts as advisors and mentors, we'll be globally connected to help ambitious startups scale internationally," he added.

"The next phase of the NDRC connects ecosystems across the country, with each regional hub representing a local centre of entrepreneurial excellence to support people in getting their ideas off the ground," Eamon Ryan, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications said. 

"Being well connected throughout our regions as well as internationally means that we can share knowledge and grow together as a country.

"The digital revolution is all about trying, failing and innovating, and I'm pleased that Dogpatch Labs and its regional partners will collaborate to help the next generation of entrepreneurs get started," Mr Ryan added.

The Dogpatch Lab partners will deliver the NDRC programmes via "a hub and spoke model", which sees each hub interacting with other emerging hubs, universities and incubators in its region to catalyse entrepreneurial support across every county in Ireland. 

Google for Startups - a partner of Dogpatch Labs who supported the bid - will also open its own global network partner programmes to the NDRC participants to encourage international growth.  

Dogpatch Labs will manage the current and future NDRC portfolio going forward, and already counts many of those companies as members of its community in the CHQ Building. 

A key focus will be on maximising the portfolio's success through new supports including networking opportunities, investor access, and preparation for building, scaling and securing follow-on funding.