Irish tech firms make it big in Japan


30 Jun 2004

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Two indigenous technology firms have between them secured around €45m worth of business in Japan, joining a growing number of Irish firms winning lucrative business in the East Asia, says Enterprise Ireland (EI).

Following a recent trade mission to Japan, involving Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD, at the time of the recent EU-Japanese summit, the two companies revealed their contract wins.

The first company Polarlake, which makes technology for the integration of internal and external business processes, signed a joint sales deal with Hitachi Systems and Services, one of the largest providers of systems integration services in Japan. As part of the agreement, Hitachi has established a Polarlake Solution Promotion Centre that is targeting sales of €25m over the next three years.

In the second major deal, Bio Medical Research, a Galway-based medical devices and fitness equipment manufacturer, announced a five-year partnership with Oak Lawn Marketing, a Japanese direct marketing company. The deal is estimated to be worth €20m.

According to Anne Lanigan, director of EI’s Tokyo office, there is significant potential for Irish firms trading with Japan.

She said: “Seven Irish companies opened offices in Japan in the past 12 months and there has been a significant increase in activity for Irish companies.

“Valista, a world leader in mobile payment platforms, has won a contract with NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s biggest mobile operator. Datalex recently signed a substantial multi-year agreement with JTB, the world’s biggest travel bureau. Kentech signed a contract worth in excess of US$25m with Chiyotech. Icon Clinical, targeting the pharmaceutical sector will increase its workforce from 10 to 30 people in Japan within the next six months,” Lanigan said.

By John Kennedy