MIT Innovators U-35 Festival

The most talented innovators in Europe are coming to the Donegal Gaeltacht for the MIT Innovators U-35 Festival for the second year running.

24 April, 2023

min read

Next month, a group of young innovators from all over Europe will gather in Gaoth Dobhair for the festival, with many of the events being hosted by Páirc Ghnó Ghaoth Dobhair and gteic@Gaoth Dobhair. The conference will take place on the 11-12 May, with these young innovators giving an insight into their areas of interest and demonstrating the ways in which their work is helping to improve society, through the use of cutting -edge technology.

The MIT Innovators Under 35 has been celebrating young changemakers for more than 20 years and will also feature some of the world’s leading technologists, with biomolecular physicist Georgios Nounesis, Director of the Greek National Centre for Scientific Research, ‘Demokratis’, delivering a keynote to the final list of Young Innovators.

Georgios and the young innovators will also be joined by distinguished leaders in innovation and tech from Italy, Andorra, the USA, Sweden, and the Netherlands including Vanesa Aroyo, Head of the Innovation Agency in Andorra and author Nicklas Bergman who sits on the Investment Committee of the European Innovation Council Fund.

Notable alumni of MIT’s Innovators Under 35 include Google Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, CRISPR Technology Pioneer Feng Zhang and Tesla Motors Co-Founder JB Straubel.

The festival is sponsored by Údarás na Gaeltachta, the Northwest City Region Councils of Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council, University of Galway, Catalyst, Randox, Optum, Ulster University, Unosquare and Atlantic Technological University.

The focus of this year’s festival will look at how technology can make society a better place and help generate economic growth in areas including biotechnology and medicine, computer and electronics, hardware, software, Internet, artificial intelligence, robotics, telecommunications, nanotechnology and materials, energy and transportation.

There will also be a special emphasis on young people and gteic@ Gaoth Dobhair will host an Education Day on the morning of 11th May, when students from the schools in the Donegal Gaeltacht can visit the gteic to participate in a series of business challenges which they will solve with the assistance of representatives of local Gaeltacht businesses.

The festival will also showcase the Gaeltacht region and the way in which remote areas can be as connected as any major city, thanks to advances in modern technology.


Tomás Ó Síocháin, Údarás na Gaeltachta Chief Executive commented:

“Údarás na Gaeltachta are very happy that the Donegal Gaeltacht was chosen for a second year to host this festival, in which innovation and creativity are recognised and celebrated.

We are very lucky to have such facilities as gteic @Gaoth Dobhair to host this conference, a digital hub which is on a par with any such facility in Ireland or in Europe. We are delighted that Údarás na Gaeltachta can support this event and we are greatly looking forward to welcoming these innovators from all over Europe for an important and inspiring conference which will benefit the Gaeltacht, the northwest region, and the country.”


Connla McCann, Director of Aisling Events which is hosting the festival said:

“Gaoth Dobhair is an area of rich heritage and culture right at the heart of the Gaeltacht. Despite being located on the Atlantic’s Edge the area can now also boast some of the strongest broadband connectivity on the island of Ireland and a range of European-class companies at its business park. It’s digital gteic hub provides accommodation for tech workers and entrepreneurs who can deliver services for global companies while still living under the shadow of Errigal. It’s a treat to be bringing the most brilliant young innovators across Europe to a region which is demonstrating that innovation can happen on the road less-travelled.”