Deals done this past week

24 Jan 2011

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

Trinity College in engineering pact with China and Europe

Trinity College Dublin’s School of Engineering has signed a partnership agreement between the top engineering schools in Europe and China.

The new agreement in engineering education will provide opportunities in undergraduate and graduate education, as well as research. It will also promote student exchange between Irish and Chinese students, as well as collaboration with Chinese industry.

“TCD Engineering is currently the only Irish university in the top 100 engineering schools in the world,” the head of School of Engineering, Prof of Civil Engineering, Margaret O’Mahony, said.

“This achievement has opened many doors for us and one of them is this significant collaboration between TCD Engineering and the top Engineering Schools in Europe and China. It offers important opportunities in Europe and China for our students.”

Trinity is the only Irish university which signed the agreement as part of a European consortium, consisting of 12 leading European universities. The consortium signed the agreement with 18 Chinese universities.

Satellite Broadband Ireland signs €5m deal for high-speed broadband via KA-SAT satellite

Satellite Broadband Ireland (SBI) has signed a commercial agreement with Eutelsat Communications to sell broadband services through KA-SAT, the most powerful commercial satellite.

The initial three-year broadband utility contract is worth more than €5m and will let SBI sell Eutelsat’s next-generation Tooway satellite broadband service, with download speeds of up to 10MBps and upload speeds of up to 4MBps.

This service will be provided via Eutelsat’s KA-SAT satellite, which was launched last month and will enter into full commercial service in May 2011.

KA-SAT’s approach is based on next-generation two-way wireless Ka-band spotbeam technology, which reduces the cost of high-bandwidth access to the internet.

SBI will introduce this service to Ireland and will expand it across Europe.

Exigent deploys major LAN upgrade at GlaxoSmithKline

ICT solutions firm Exigent Networks has completed a significant upgrade of the LAN infrastructure for GlaxoSmithKline using the latest Cisco Technology at its Irish facility in Dungarvan, in Waterford.

Exigent Networks secured the deal to completely revamp the entire local area network because of the company’s excellent existing working relationship with GlaxoSmithKline.

GlaxoSmithKline is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and has a significant presence in Dungarvan, where it produces market-leading oral care and over-the-counter medicines.

Top European email newsletter provider in MAN deal

Cork-based Newsweaver, which has grown to become one of Europe’s top email newsletter software providers, has struck a deal with Cork Internet Exchange (CIX) to connect to the Cork Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) for faster fibre access.

This connection comes on the back of Newsweaver’s recent move from Bandon and highlights the importance of the MAN to high-tech, web-dependent companies.

Newsweaver’s decision to move from Bandon was precipitated by the flooding in November 2009, but was already under consideration as it had outgrown the broadband available in the area. However, MAN connectivity in Cork City has now provided the firm with 100Mbs via CIX.

“We’re a web-dependent company and needed to get onto the Cork City MAN in order to avail of the bandwidth needed to improve our client services,” said Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Newsweaver’s managing director.

Easytrip to supply automated taxi dispatch system at Dublin Airport

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has granted Easytrip a contract to supply, test and implement a taxi management system at Dublin Airport.

The Easytrip solution will be used by the DAA to maintain visibility on taxi usage and will ensure compliance of authorised users while streamlining the flow process through the Dublin Airport concourse.

The system will be in place for the taxi holdings and taxi ranks for Terminals 1 and 2. It combines DSRC technologies, incorporating 5.8ghz in-vehicle Kapsch Transponders with an array of transceivers at strategic locations across the airport.

Real-time data collection is integrated with a suite of management and operational applications, giving the DAA more effective capabilities to manage taxi operations.

Ground operators now have a custom-built Windows Mobile app with real-time information and the automated flow, capacity and dispatch management has replaced what was a previously manual process.

Populis buying blog network for €6m

Dublin-headquartered content-on-demand company Populis has confirmed today it is buying international blog network Blogo for €6m.

Blogo has more than 250 bloggers covering 70 subject areas, including motoring, finance, arts and sport, and audiences in the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Brazil.

Populis is acquiring Blogo from Italian web publisher Dada, which is part-owned by RCS MediaGroup, an international multimedia publishing group listed on the Italian stock exchange. The acquisition is expected to be completed next month.

Populis, which was rebranded from GoAdv in October 2010 and has 500 media properties, including Excite Europe, Better Deals and Nanopublishing, said the acquisition will provide the group with a high volume of quality multilingual content in five key countries, bringing its content production to 35,000 items every month to 24.8m unique monthly users. 

It said Blogo would increase its international marketshare, content production and revenue streams significantly, as well as opening up the South American market.

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