Blogging minister is sleepless in Seattle

24 May 2005

An Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Seattle has yielded a number of technology alliances for Irish mobile, gaming and aviation companies and has inspired the Minister for International Trade to write a blog on the matter.

During the visit to Seattle, Enterprise Ireland and Dublin firm NewBay Software launched an Irish trade mission blog, which includes postings from the Minister for International Trade Michael Ahern TD and other officials attending the mission.

The NewBay FoneBlog service will allow officials to post real-time information and photos about the trade mission at, which can be viewed immediately through a Wap-enabled mobile phone or a standard web browser. Executives who are unable to attend the event and anyone interested in the trade mission can receive information, photos and post comments to the blog.

Speaking in Seattle, Minister Ahern said: “NewBay’s innovative blogging technology gives us the opportunity to broaden the reach of the Seattle-based trade mission to a wider audience. This mobile blog allows us to provide real-time information and exchange ideas with a global community using an exciting new technology that has been developed by a world-class Irish company.”

“We are honored to offer our mobile blogging technology for use during this prestigious event,” said Paddy Holahan, chief executive officer of NewBay Software. “This is a wonderful example of how FoneBlog can create dynamic communities for business as well as personal use, while delivering information through both text and images.”

The high-level trade mission also saw Irish company Nephin Games, a leading developer of interactive games for mobile phones, forge a partnership with Mobile Media, a personal broadcasting and entertainment provider, to distribute the popular game WKN Kickboxing on a global basis.

The partnership will enable Nephin to reach more than 500 million mobile phone users in Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. “This agreement represents a watershed for Nephin Games letting us reach a truly global audience for both our games and our brand partners, through Mobile Media’s broad distribution network,” said Alan Duggan, chief executive officer of Nephin Games.

In another major deal announced during the trade mission, Sigmar Aviation, a specialist in aviation recruitment and services, has forged an alliance with Alteon Training, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company. Under the deal Sigmar will provide Alteon with quality-flight crew and skilled technical personnel, such as training captions, instructors, first officers, flight engineers and operations management.

The mission also afforded Irish company Arconics Aviation the opportunity to unveil its Manual Manager 1.0 software in a region renowned for its aircraft industry. The software is the world’s first web-based graphical aviation document management software and allows pilots and publishers to turn around document revisions in a fraction of the time and allows for the introduction of new digital processes such as regulation-compliant electronic flight bags.

“Manual Manager allows airline staff to quickly access necessary information at any time and simultaneously, no matter where they are located, providing confidence especially in emergency situations,” said Niall O’Sullivan, chief executive officer of Arconics. “With the addition of Manual Manager to the Arconics suite of products, Arconics continues as the leader in airline information management.”

By John Kennedy