When Google came to Ireland in 2003 it was only a five-year-old start-up from Silicon Valley just figuring out its revenue model. Ten years later, the company has 2,500 people at its EMEA headquarters in Dublin and has marked its anniversary with a new €5.5m digital innovation centre in the city called The Foundry.
The Foundry will hold more than 80 events in Dublin between now and the end of the year, which will be attended by 5,000 business people from across Europe.
The first takes place tomorrow and will be attended by executives from Ikea in Sweden, Swatch in Switzerland and Boots in the UK, as well as Irish companies Aer Lingus and Paddy Power.
It is anticipated that The Foundry will bring in about 15,000 extra business tourists to Dublin annually.
According to figures published by Fáilte Ireland, there were 154 international conferences in Dublin last year bringing 85,000 delegates and €106m to the city.
The Foundry is Google’s first Digital Innovation Centre to be located in Europe and Google VP and the head of Google Ireland John Herlihy said it made strategic sense to locate it in Ireland.
“We can leverage the incredible wealth of knowledge and skills within our own organisation and share that with entrepreneurs and established companies from all over Europe,” Herlihy said.
Internet Capital of Europe
“Building on Ireland’s reputation as the Internet Capital of Europe, The Foundry puts Dublin firmly on the Worldwide Digital Map,” Herlihy said.
“Whether a company is completely new to digital or is looking for new ways to further grow its business, Dublin will become THE place to learn about digital. We will bring together our customers and partners from Ireland and Europe which will make a long-term positive contribution to Ireland,” Herlihy added.
Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, said the digital sector in Ireland now supports 95,000 jobs in the economy.
“Today’s establishment by Google of its Digital Innovation Centre here in Dublin is strategically significant,” Kenny said.
“It will draw companies from across Europe to Dublin and will enhance Ireland’s reputation as the Internet Capital of Europe. Any global digital company looking to locate in Europe will find it very hard to bypass Dublin,” Kenny added.
All top 10 born-on-the-internet companies now located in Ireland
The CEO of IDA Ireland Barry O’Leary said Ireland is now host to all of the world’s top 10 born-on-the internet companies, which as well as Google include Amazon, Yahoo!, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Salesforce.com, to name a few.
O’Leary said Google’s presence in Ireland is pivotal in that it continues to attract other companies to base their operations here.
The Foundry, he added, will bring senior company executives into Dublin where they will see the huge number of multinational companies already based in the city.
“Using our network of international offices, including one in Mountain View, California, where Google HQ is located, IDA Ireland will continue to seek out companies to locate in Ireland,” O’Leary said.
“We are determined to find the next Google – and bring them to Ireland.”