Qualtrics selects Dublin as centre for AI R&D hub, opening new office

31 May 2023

Brad Anderson, Stephanie Barton, Donnchadh Casey, Qualtrics; and Simon Coveney TD Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment; and Michael Lohan, IDA Ireland. Image: Conor McCabe

Dublin-based Donnchadh Casey, who is CCO at Qualtrics, told SiliconRepublic.com about the company’s plans for its EMEA centre.

Qualtrics, the US-headquartered maker of experience management software, has today (31 May) officially opened its new EMEA headquarters in Dublin.

This expansion was first announced in 2021, but the office’s opening was delayed by the pandemic. Qualtrics had said at the time that it would double the size of its Dublin office and hire 1,000 additional staff across Europe by 2024.

As part of this target, the company said it aimed to have 650 staff based in Dublin by 2024. In 2021, it had around 300. Today, Qualtrics has around 400 staff members in Dublin, and is continuing to hire.

The new office is located at Costello House on Clarendon Row in Dublin. It has space for 500 employees.

The building is opening on the company’s ten-year anniversary in Ireland. The Dublin operation, opened in 2013, was the first office Qualtrics set up outside of the US.

Costello House will be a base for Qualtrics’ planned experience management innovation centre that will focus mainly on AI. The centre aims to leverage the existing engineering team to work on projects in areas such as machine learning and natural language processing technologies.

As well as targeting research and development in experience management, the Costello House office will prove key to Qualtrics’ EMEA expansion plans.

“The depth of talent we are able to access in Ireland makes it a perfect place for our EMEA headquarters,” said Brad Anderson, president of products and engineering at Qualtrics. “As we continue to build across EMEA, the XM Innovation Centre will be central to our ability to drive innovation with unrivalled uses of new technologies to deliver exceptional experiences to organisations worldwide.”

Dublin-based Donnchadh Casey, who is chief customer officer at Qualtrics, told SiliconRepublic.com that the office will serve as a place for the company to show its customers the latest iterations of experience management tech.

A headshot of a man with grey hear and a light blue shirt smiling at the camera against a blurred background.

Donnchadh Casey. Image: Freddie Greenall

“We also are going to double down on our commitment to innovate and generate real IP and undertake groundbreaking R&D in Dublin. We’ve already got a significant engineering presence, so we’re going to build on that and we’re going to use that team,” Casey said, echoing Anderson’s comments.

“We will be bringing executive teams and customers from across Europe to spend anywhere from between half a day to two days here reimagining their programmes and how their business operates to be more experience-centric,” he said.

As well as customers, staff from other European locations will be flown in to be trained in various technologies, he added. The office has been kitted out with a pub, a gym and a centre for employee wellness on its grounds.

It has 63 meeting rooms and break-out spaces. As Casey pointed out, the company is in the experience management scene so providing a top-class experience for customers and staff members alike is important.

The name Costello House comes from Qualtrics’ former European lead Dermot Costello, who passed away from cancer a few years ago.

The onsite pub is named after Costello, who established Qualtrics in Ireland in 2013. The company supports cancer charities in his honour including Irish organisation Breakthrough Cancer Research.

Casey said that Qualtrics has funded six scientists from Breakthrough Cancer to carry out research in oncology. Casey said it is something the whole company is “very, very proud of” to be doing in Costello’s memory.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic