Galway is not just a medtech hub, it has a fast-growing community of employers who are very locally engaged and want its tech sector to grow.
At the moment, it may be dwarfed by Dublin’s, Belfast’s and even Limerick’s and Cork’s, but Galway’s tech scene is equally as interesting and strong. It should not be overlooked – especially with all the developments that have been happening there recently.
I am from Galway and during my time writing about STEM careers for SiliconRepublic.com, I have covered a lot of the multinational news and jobs announcements in the city, as well as some other more local sci-tech stories. I may be biased as it is my home county and city, but the past year has been big for Galway’s tech community. And this coming year will more than likely be full of significant happenings too.
But perhaps I am not biased and Galway is experiencing a moment of growth. I did, lest we forget, write a piece a couple of months ago on Galway’s rival – Limerick – and why its tech scene is so special. Let’s look at the facts, shall we?
A major medtech employer
Galway is world-renowned for its medtech hub status with major multinationals like Medtronic and Boston Scientific having long-established teams there, alongside a thriving medtech start-up scene featuring the likes of Luminate Medical, ICS Medical Devices and Tympany Medical. Undoubtedly a massive factor in this is the University of Galway and Atlantic Technological University and the steady stream of graduates they pump out into the local employment market year after year. Both institutions work closely with a lot of the sci-tech employers in the city and University of Galway has a good track record of producing interesting and cutting-edge spinouts – which aren’t all medtech.
On the medtech point, it’s important to note that while Galway is synonymous with medtech – and that is fantastic – it has other things going for it too, not least a very strong ICT sector. Galway’s often overlooked ICT scene was highlighted by Oliver Daniels, CEO of Platform94 recently in his speech at Platform94’s rebrand launch event, itself a pretty significant occasion for Galway’s STEM and business community.
…but it’s not just about medtech jobs
Platform94, formerly Galway Technology Centre, works with local scale-ups and start-ups to help them realise their global ambitions. It also provides office space to multinationals who want to base themselves in Galway. Companies such as cybersecurity outfit Centripetal have already availed of office space in the newly extended Platform94 building, which is located in IDA Ireland’s Mervue Business Park.
At its May relaunch event, Platform94 told attendees that it aims to assist in the creation of 505 direct and 323 indirect jobs over the next five years. Over the next 15 years, it expects to facilitate the creation of more than 2,500 jobs directly and indirectly. As well as Centripetal, which is growing its team in Galway, Platform94 is home to companies like Triggerfish, Axis Consulting and Aptarus.
Platform94 is far from the only group working to help Galway’s tech community grow. It works alongside other local powerhouses like the Portershed team, the ITAG team and the team at ATU’s Innovation Hub. Between these groups, there are hundreds of ambitious, skilled and entrepreneurial people working to make Galway a worthwhile place to do business. New start-ups are emerging all the time out of the programmes these teams run. And ICT multinationals are finding that Galway and the surrounding counties have more than enough talent to keep their operations staffed.
Since I started at SiliconRepublic.com, I have seen three multinational companies move into Bonham Quay, a relatively new office complex that is located on the Docks in Galway city. The building is now a base for Diligent, Genesys and Signify Health. All are US companies.
Multinationals and the community
SaaS company Diligent set up in Galway during the pandemic in 2020, which meant it hired a lot of its west of Ireland staff remotely to begin with. When it celebrated the official opening of its Galway office in 2022, its site lead Ruairí Conroy explained to us that it would offer staff flexible working which even extended to flexible onboarding. He told us at the time that Diligent would cater equally to its remote, hybrid and permanently in-office staff.
Similarly, Genesys, the cloud software provider that opened its office next door to Diligent’s in Bonham Quay last year, is following a similar model. Joe Smyth, SVP of R&D and site lead at the company’s office in Galway told SiliconRepublic.com that the top floor would function as an event space as well as a place for employees to hang out.
“The days are gone of forcing people to come to work in an office,” Smyth said. “So at Genesys, every employee can elect to be full-time in the office, hybrid or fully remote. That’s their choice. And we’ve spent a lot of effort in equipping the building here so that we can support a hybrid mode of working and yet give a really nice experience for people who want to come into the office.”
Diligent and Genesys were joined in the Bonham Quay complex in June of this year by Signify Health, which has been steadily growing its team in Galway prior to the official opening of its office space.
Commenting at that opening event, Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Simon Coveney, TD, said it was a sign that Galway is “now a hub of thriving tech and medtech companies”. But it is also a community, thanks to the likes of Portershed, Platform94 and ITAG. The city and county’s community and local feel is clearly a selling point for some of the larger multinationals, many of whom have wasted no time in creating partnerships with local charities and even sports teams. Genesys is a sponsor of the Connacht rugby team and it also works with Cancer Care West, for example.
As Smyth put it, “It’s good to have that element of community. The fact is we are not some multinational that just plonked itself here; we want to be connected to the community in everything we do.” It is these little touches that will ensure Galway thrives and its tech and medtech employers are part of what makes it successful for everyone in the wider area.
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