FORMER Laois Chamber Alliance chief executive Caroline Hofman has been appointed director of The CUBE, the new Low Carbon Centre of Excellence that will officially open in Portlaoise this week.
Envisaged as ‘a focal point for the development of new business and economic activity in Laois’, the centre will also provide support and assist businesses in their transition to a low carbon economy.
The 10,000sq.ft building, adjacent to the old CBS, was derelict for a number of years and was renovated with funding of €2m under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), which is administered by Enterprise Ireland.
Taking over as director with effect from Monday 27 March, Ms Hofman said she felt very privileged to take on the role as director of The CUBE.
She said: “Portlaoise and Co Laois have seen significant growth over the past number of years and The CUBE will significantly benefit the county and the region, through sustainable job creation and supporting existing companies of all sizes on their sustainability and low carbon journey.”
She added: “Through the support of Enterprise Ireland and Laois Co Council, and the support of a number of partners involved in the project, The CUBE has been developed into an exemplar facility that will also foster innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as providing research opportunities through partnerships and collaborations with third level institutions.
“The needs of businesses as we strive to meet 2030 climate targets are constantly evolving and The CUBE will look at innovative ways to assist businesses locally, regionally, and nationally to meet these targets by providing the technical knowledge and skills necessary to excel. A low carbon consultancy service will also be provided.”
Ms Hofman was the youngest CEO appointed to a Chamber of Commerce in Ireland when she took over the reins at Laois Chamber in July 2021. She previously worked as a Special Adviser to the Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance in the Department of Finance.
She graduated from University College Cork in 2015 with a BSc (Hons) Government and Public Policy and later completed postgraduate studies at Dublin City University and the Technological University of the Shannon.