Cyber Ireland cluster to make Ireland a global cybersecurity powerhouse

21 May 2019

Image: © Zffoto/

Industry group wants to ensure Ireland has the talent and the infrastructure to help tackle a global $6trn cybercrime problem.

The Irish cybersecurity cluster, Cyber Ireland, has been officially launched after engagement with more than 90 companies, 15 academic organisations and 13 Government agencies.

The goal of the cluster is to make Ireland a global cybersecurity leader from the point of view of talent and skills, research and innovation, boosting SME exports, and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).

‘This cybersecurity cluster will ensure that the country makes the most of the potential for new job creation and innovation’

“The strength of the cluster will come from a joined-up, national approach, as any one organisation or region is too small to compete internationally with other strong international cybersecurity clusters in the UK, the Netherlands, Estonia and Israel,” said Jacky Fox, vice-chair of the cluster’s board.

Collaborative approach

Launched yesterday (20 May) in Cork, the organisation’s board is made up of senior industry representatives from companies that include McAfee, Forcepoint, IBM, JRI America, HPE, Ward Solutions and Qualcomm. It also includes academic institutes and research centres such as Cork Institute of Technology, University of Limerick and University College Dublin, and Government agencies such as IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the National Cyber Security Centre.

“This cybersecurity cluster will ensure that the country makes the most of the potential for new job creation and innovation by addressing key challenges around skills needs, enhancing research and innovation, [and] the development of a national community which connects industry, academia and government,” said Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland.

“The strength of the cluster will come from a collaborative, national approach, and IDA Ireland are very excited to be supporting this initiative.”

By 2021 the value of cybercrime damage is expected to hit $6trn (€4.85trn) annually according to Cybersecurity Ventures, a figure representing nearly 10pc of the world economy.

“The launch of Cyber Ireland, Ireland’s cybersecurity cluster, is an important leap forward for the industry in Ireland,” said Minister for Equality, Immigration and Integration David Stanton, TD.

“This innovative collaboration between Government, industry and academia will serve as a platform for the industry here to continue to grow and compete globally. I am confident that the establishment of this new cluster here in Cork, and the presentation of the cluster board, will help to ensure that Ireland remains at the forefront of this fast-growing and strategically important sector.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years