Companies at Dublin’s Digital Hub expect to achieve up to 25pc growth in employment this year, representing a potential 250 new digital media jobs.
According to the second annual Enterprise Survey of Digital Hub companies by the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA), Digital Hub companies are expected to grow strongly during 2009, with almost 54pc of companies expecting growth.
This is in stark contrast to the general Irish economy, where only 19pc of companies expect to see workforce growth this year.
“With approximately one in six Irish digital media companies now located in the Digital Hub, this survey gives the sector great confidence in these times of economic doom and gloom,” said Stephen Brennan, DHDA director of marketing and strategy.
He said the Digital Hub model of clustering highly skilled companies together in a city centre location could be a key weapon in returning Ireland to economic growth.
“Company CEOs in the Digital Hub are intent on expanding in 2009, and are confident the uniquely high-skilled and creative nature of their employees and products offers them a competitive edge at this time.”
According to Brennan, the survey findings also reflect the challenges faced by digital media companies in Ireland, and point to how the Government can assist companies in meeting these challenges head-on.
“Company CEOs were asked how the DHDA could help them to reach their potential,” he said. “The answers included networking opportunities, investor exposure, assistance in broker collaborations, and mentoring and training opportunities.
“Only a ‘cluster’ approach – where these highly skilled and creative companies can work together, pooling services and ideas, and providing joint solutions to the marketplace – will equip these growing companies with the tools they need in order to continue to expand.”
Among the growth examples provided by the DHDA were Lincor Solutions, a medical technology and media firm that has installed more than 12,000 bedside systems in 50-plus hospitals worldwide. Given US President Barack Obama’s €19bn investment into IT for healthcare, the company is currently preparing to enter the US markets.
Other examples include Pixelsoup, which has done important digital design work for Unilever, and Paybymobile, a company that has created a virtual wallet and is at prelaunch stage. The technology will let anyone text to pay when shopping online.
“The digital media sector will be a key area for growth in the coming years, creating employment and generating investment opportunities,” said the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan TD.
“The Government’s communications policy, as well as a skilled workforce, creates the conditions that allow digital media companies to establish in Ireland. Today’s figures show this is set to continue. Even in difficult economic circumstances, the opportunities are manifold,” Minister Ryan added.
By John Kennedy