West of Ireland tech group ITAG recognised as European ICT cluster

15 Feb 2022

David Bermingham. Image: ITAG

ITAG, which is comprised of industry stakeholders in the region, said the award was ‘a catalyst’ for further growth and would come with ‘elite opportunities’.

Innovation Technology AtlanTec Gateway (ITAG) has been recognised as an “elite tech cluster” at a European level. The tech group based in the west of Ireland said the accreditation would be a major boost for the region.

ITAG’s new accreditation was presented by the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA), supported by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry.

Helmut Kergel, spokesperson for ESCA said, “Analysing the data of ITAG, it can be stated that the cluster initiative is well integrated in the Irish innovation system, providing valuable services and leading to well measurable effects on the enterprise level.”

The recognition means that the Irish tech cluster will join a network of 32 recognised ICT clusters across Europe. The wider European tech cluster network supports more than 54m jobs, and it will offer ITAG’s members increased access to funding and support at a European level.

ITAG is a non-profit association that brings together tech players in the west of Ireland. As well as running skills workshops throughout the region, ITAG organises the annual AtlanTec festival. Last May was its seventh year and was supported by ITAG technology partners including Fidelity Investments, IBM, NUI Galway and Cisco.

David Bermingham, chair of ITAG, said that the ESCA recognition “isn’t just an award” but would be “a catalyst for even further growth and development”.

Bermingham, who is also director of AI at IBM, added that ITAG would now be seen as “an elite tech cluster” and this would come with “elite opportunities”.

“It will open doors for all those involved locally in the ICT space. It will create opportunities, while giving an enhanced platform for doing business and interacting with counterparts in other countries and other clusters. It will enable access to more funding prospects while also facilitating collaboration between our local tech industry and innovative European partners on mutually beneficial projects.”

Sharon Walsh, VP of technology with ITAG member Fidelity Investments, said the achievement was only possible “thanks to the enhanced levels of cooperation that have been fostered throughout the local ICT community in this region over recent years”.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.