Deals done this past week

30 May 2011

An overview of the week in deals in the Irish technology sector.

GE buys Irish smartgrid software firm FMC-Tech

The world’s second-largest company, US$150bn a year revenue General Electric (GE), has acquired Irish smart-grid technology company FMC-Tech for an undisclosed sum.

FMC-Tech was one of the dozen investments resulting from GE’s 2010 Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid. FMC-Tech, which is headquartered in Shannon, Co Clare, has developed an intelligent network monitoring system for the utilities network.

A year ago, GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt announced GE’s Ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid, a US$200m open innovation challenge to find and fund the best ideas for bringing the power grid into the 21st century.

Co-funded by four venture capital firms, the challenge aims to leverage GE’s scale, technical expertise and client relationships to bring new ideas to market quickly.

“With the acquisition of FMC Tech’s portfolio, GE will be able to provide a new level of grid intelligence to utilities, improving decision-making and streamlining operations with real-time information on power outages and available capacity on power lines,” said Bob Gilligan, CEO, digital energy for GE Energy Services.

Obama administration chooses Irish technology

US President Barack Obama’s administration has chosen internet technology developed in Ireland in its economic stimulus package website

The web standard, Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC), is a way of incorporating data into websites and blogs, for example, that makes it easier to connect online communities and internet-based discussions.

Commenting on the visit in Ireland last week of Obama, the chief scientific adviser to the Irish Government, Prof Patrick Cunningham, spoke of the great relationship between the US and Ireland in science.

“Ireland has a great reputation of a place to do good science and examples such as the IT developed in Galway and adopted by President Obama’s administration is an endorsement of the calibre of Irish science,” Cunningham said.

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