STREAM Creative Suite – Information and Opportunities

STREAM Creative Suite – Information and Opportunities

Birr Castle in the Midlands is now home to I-LOFAR, the Irish Station in the largest radio telescope in the world. There are 52 LOFAR Stations across Europe, generating 3 Gbps per station, over 150 Gigabits per second, more than 6 Petabytes per year.


Unique Opportunities with I-LOFAR in Birr

  • The Irish Station, part of the largest radio telescope in the world
  • Primary (currently only) access to the biggest source of big data
  • Builds on rich astronomical heritage of Birr Castle Gardens & Science Centre
  • Increases potential for Science Tourism
  • Increases potential for STEM Education and Outreach (Newly opened I-LOFAR Education Centre is set to deliver range of Space related camps and workshops for students and teachers)
  • Creates compelling proposition for IDA to attract FDI Big Data Companies to Birr/Midlands


Offaly Innovation & Design Centre CLG is looking to harness these opportunities through the development of STREAM Creative Suite.


Concept: STREAM Creative Suite

Encompassing Science, Technology, Research, Engineering, Arts and Maths

From Research to Commercialisation – all underpinned by Big Data

STREAM Creative Suite will build on the astronomical opportunities of I-LOFAR, science tourism and STEM Education.

STREAM Creative Suite through its association with I-LOFAR, provides unique opportunities to be the


(a)   Regional/National Hub for Big Data

(b)    Research hub for the I-LOFAR Consortium and international LOFAR partners

(c)    Collaborative regional hub for industry led training in data analytics

(d)    Regional hub for research and industry collaboration


Who will use the STREAM Creative Suite?



A group of research institutions and universities were involved in the development of I-LOFAR in Birr.

This I-LOFAR Consortium comprises:

Trinity College Dublin (TCD)

Armagh Observatory & Planetarium

University College Dublin (UCD)

Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies (DIAS)

National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway

Dublin City University (DCU)

Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC)

University of Leiden

University of Manchester

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Chalmers University of Technology/LOFAR –Sweden

Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT)

The STREAM Creative Suite will provide a central location and space for researchers from these and other educational institutions. Offaly Innovation & Design Centre CLG is in discussions with Consortium Members to pilot residential modules for final year students working on Capstone Projects.  These projects will be undertaken in Birr, and will give an opportunity for students to work on cutting-edge research projects, and to build connections with under-graduates in other universities.


Software Developers/Data Analysts

Software Developer and Data Analysts from larger companies will have the opportunity to use the STREAM Creative Suite – either through regular hot desk usage or by setting up a base there.


Education Providers and Students of Data Analytics

STREAM Creative Suite will engage with Education Providers to design and deliver a range of training programmes in Data Analytics.

International Researchers – STREAM Creative Suite will create opportunities for visiting researchers. Birr’s rich past in astronomy and science, together with the international LOFAR project will attract international science researchers and tourists. These engagements will strengthen the connections between STREAM Creative Suite and the wider science community.

Collaboration at Local Level

STREAM Creative Suite is a natural extension to the I-LOFAR project. It will build on the astronomical opportunities of science tourism, I-LOFAR, and STEM education. Researchers and visitors to Birr will have the opportunity to be inspired by Birr Castle’s rich heritage, learn about space science/STEM with fun, hands-on activities at the I-LOFAR Education Centre, and then see future career options in STREAM Creative Suite.

Connectivity in the Midland Region

Connecting STREAM Creative Suite with Athlone IT and IMR in Mullingar and back through The Junction Business Innovation Centre in Tullamore creates a new and dynamic hub for research and economic development in the Midlands. It will harness cutting edge research, advance manufacturing, industry led training initiatives, enterprising start-ups and FDI clusters in Athlone, Mullingar and Tullamore.

National Impact

At a national level, STREAM Creative Suite will work with I-LOFAR Consortium members to maximise linkages and opportunities for collaboration. Due to Birr’s central location, STREAM Creative Suite will be an accessible hub for scientists and researchers nationally. Training and industry events will predominantly target businesses in the Midlands, but will be open for businesses in the other regions.

International Engagement

I-LOFAR was awarded the “Best International Engagement Award” at SFI Annual Summit 2017. By investing €2M in I-LOFAR, Ireland became members of the €150M International LOFAR Telescope network. This has already resulted in Irish researchers being involved in the €10M Radionet Horizon 2020 Advanced Community, the €2.5M Horizon 2020 LOFAR4SpaceWeather Project, and a €3M European Research Council Award. These awards now support nearly 10 highly skilled jobs in software and data analytics related to LOFAR. The STREAM Creative Suite can help attract skilled jobs such as these to Birr.


Stakeholder Engagement

There is a strong ethos of collaborative engagement between the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), Enterprise Ireland, IDA, Local Authorities, Regional Skills, Educational Training Boards, Local Development Companies, Midlands Science, and Industry groups. The Directors of Offaly Innovation & Design Centre CLG will ensure ongoing interaction with enterprise, education and relevant agencies/stakeholders to promote and develop STREAM Creative Suite.

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