Two Irish tech clusters merge to boost south-west innovation

4 Nov 2022

Gillian Bergin of IT@Cork, Juliette Crowley of IT@Cork, Manjit Gill of KerrySciTech, Aoife O’Brien of KerrySciTech, and Donagh Kiernan of IT@Cork. Image: Valerie O'Sullivan

The new Tech Industry Alliance was announced at the 2022 Leaders Awards, which saw prizes given to Poppulo, VMware, Keelvar and more.

Two of the south-west’s technology clusters have combined into a single entity to better represent the interests of the region’s growing tech sector.

IT@Cork and KerrySciTech have merged to form the Tech Industry Alliance, with a combined membership of nearly 300 businesses. This makes the new entity one of the largest member-led tech clusters in Ireland.

The organisations signed a detailed memorandum of understanding earlier this year to formalise their collaboration.

“It’s our mission to shine a light on the technology, business and innovative contributions across the south-west,” said IT@Cork chair Gillian Bergin.

“Under our new name, Tech Industry Alliance, we will leverage our collective knowledge, experience and networks to the benefit of our members.”

2022 Leaders Awards winners

The announcement was made tonight (4 November) at the 2022 Leaders Awards, which were hosted by the two tech clusters at Cork’s Rochestown Park Hotel.

These awards aim to recognise innovation, growth and impact in the south-west region’s tech sector.

Andrew O’Shaughnessy, founder of Poppulo, was named Tech Person of the Year. He was recognised for his work scaling the Cork-based communications software company, which merged with US outfit Four Winds Interactive last year in a deal that valued that combined company at a reported $1bn.

St Vincent’s Secondary School won the Excellence in Education award for its work in developing student and teacher IT skills. The school received €5,000 to promote STEM activities within their school, sponsored by Trend Micro.

The Diversity, Inclusion and Social Impact award went to VMware in recognition of the company’s various education, training and awareness initiatives.

The Tech Scale-Up of the Year award was given to Keelvar. The former Start-Up of the Week raised $24m in a Series B round earlier this year to scale its growth in the US and expand its supply chain software.

Other award winners included growing regtech start-up Valid8Me, which received the Tech Start-Up of the Year award, while Dairymaster was recognised as the Multinational of the Year.

The Smart Technology Innovation award went to ICBF, while the IT@Cork Skillnet Best Workplaces award was given to Enercon.

KerrySciTech chair Manjit Gill said the event was a “ringing endorsement of the diversity, passion and resilience” of those working in the tech sector.

“Under our new combined brand, we look forward to a bright future, working together to drive innovation and growth across the region,” Gill added.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic