Digital Hub nabs Amazon


14 Apr 2005

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Dublin’s Digital Hub has been revealed as the location for Amazon.com’s European systems and network operations centre.

The digital media cluster, located in the Liberties area of Dublin, will host the online retailer’s facility that will provide infrastructure support for Amazon.com systems throughout the world. Over the next two years, up to 25 jobs will be created at the centre, most of which will be filled by third-level graduates.

Philip Flynn, CEO of the Digital Hub Development Agency, said in a statement: “The Digital Hub’s server facilities and access services will facilitate Amazon having direct connectivity between Dublin and the US. Efficient and effective connectivity is essential for Amazon’s Digital Hub centre, which will provide infrastructure support for Amazon systems and networks that operate the company’s websites worldwide.”

The hub is understood to have been in competition with other locations in Ireland to land the prestigious project. “It was an important win for us from a foreign direct investment perspective and as a reassurance that the Digital Hub proposition is a winning one,” said Stephen Brennan, director of strategy and marketing with the agency. “Amazon is a very well-known brand and we’re hoping it’s the starter for us to land others.”

The news marks a solid week for the digital media cluster, which announced on Tuesday that the Canadian games developer DC Studios would locate there, creating 50 jobs. There are now 48 companies based at the Dublin site. Amazon’s European systems and network operations centre will be based in bay five of the digital depot building, one of three facilities that forms part of the overall Digital Hub facility. The Irish games software developer Havok is based in the same building, along with several smaller incubation-style companies.

The hub operation is itself expanding, having just been allocated space in a neighbouring building that had been occupied by Media Lab Europe (MLE) before its closure earlier this year. Although the building itself is owned by the Office of Public Works, the Digital Hub will manage and use it for the next 18 months, with scope to extend this time period.

The games company TKO Software, which has been based in the Digital Hub for over a year, has relocated to that building because it is growing, but Brennan confirmed that it would be the only existing Hub tenant to move – the other occupants of the former MLE site will all be new tenants. According to Brennan: “There’s tremendous demand to be part of the Digital Hub cluster; we have very little difficulty in occupying that building.”

By Gordon Smith