Drive to create wireless cluster gets under way


9 Nov 2004

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Dublin Chamber of Commerce announced today that it is leading a mission to create a wireless industry cluster in Dublin.

An expert group with representatives from industry and academia has been established to formulate the plan for the cluster and a special forum jointly hosted by Dublin Chamber and University College Dublin (UCD) – A Dublin Wireless Cluster: Making it Happen – will be held in the O’Reilly Hall on Monday 29 November. A website – www.dublinwirelesscluster.com – will also be launched this week.

The complex nature of wireless communications development has created an international trend towards clusters, which combine the efforts of industry and the universities often with local and national government support, especially in stimulating large-scale research and development activities. Wireless communications is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries and cluster supporters believe that Dublin could become one of the world’s most important centres for innovation in the sector if the cluster idea comes to fruition.

“A wireless cluster in Dublin could become the International Financial Services Centre of Ireland’s high-technology sector and lead to the creation of thousands of high-value jobs,” said Tony Boyle, Dublin chamber council member and chief executive of the Sigma Wireless Group.

The expert group will formulate a strategy and implementation plan by involving a number of leading players in the sector including Intel, Lucent, O2, Enterprise Ireland, Eircom, Esat BT, Bell Labs Ireland, Irish Broadband and Sigma Wireless.

The wireless forum at UCD will feature international speakers from leading wireless clusters around the world including Kista in Sweden and Turin in Italy as well as leading figures in the wireless industry. The forum will present an opportunity to have an input into the formulation of the plan for a Dublin wireless cluster.

President of UCD, Prof Hugh Brady, said: “Combining the potential of UCD, other Dublin third level institutions and the wireless sector to build a global wireless cluster in the city is a logical development. We have the talent, resources and ideas and are highly confident it is just the kind of initiative we need to help make the Government’s new enterprise strategy work and help move Ireland as a whole up the value chain and continue to successfully meet global competition for jobs and investment.”

Boyle added: “Bringing industry and academia together in a wireless cluster has very significant potential in terms of creating new enterprises and thousands of high value jobs. Dublin Chamber of Comerce regards the creation of a wireless cluster as a key priority going forward and hope many people in business will avail of the opportunity of the forum to have some input into the formulation of the plan for the cluster.”

Chairman of the Expert Group, Pat Maher, a council member of the Dublin chamber and executive director with Enterprise Ireland, said: “We have been very impressed by the huge response from both industry and academia to the proposal to create a wireless cluster here. This interest and enthusiasm augurs well for Dublin’s future at the heart of the rapidly growing international wireless communications industry.”

By Brian Skelly