Computer maker Dell has chosen Ireland as the site for a new communications and network product development centre, employing 28 people initially with scope to increase this number to 50 staff within four years.
Dell classes the facility as a centre of competency and it will have research and development (R&D) capability, with support from IDA Ireland. The centre will begin operations immediately, based from a purpose-designed laboratory at the company’s existing Limerick campus.
In addition to working on communications and product development for use in the company’s products throughout the world, the centre’s 28 staff will also have responsibility for developing software to improve productivity in Dell’s global manufacturing sites.
As part of the project, Dell plans to put in place a collaboration programme with University of Limerick, which it said would help to support the continued growth and development of the facility. It is envisaged that the university will supply engineering graduates for the facility, while Dell employees will be supported to study for master and doctorate degrees in the university in conjunction with their work on research projects.
An existing specialist engineering team within Dell, from which the initial employees have come, has been working on several wireless pilot projects for the company. According to Nicky Hartery, vice- president of manufacturing and business operations, Dell EMEA, the decision to locate a development centre in Limerick came as a result of the success of that proof-of-concept programme, which has been running for the past year.
Welcoming the news, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD said: “This investment by Dell is another major endorsement of Ireland as a location for R&D, coming as it does from a global leader in the technology industry and so soon after a significant R&D announcement by five other multinational companies recently. In particular, the business and academic collaboration is exactly the kind of investment that is being actively sought for Ireland.”
By Gordon Smith