APC picks Galway as European R&D hub

10 Dec 2002

American Power Conversion (APC), a manufacturer of uninterruptible power supply technology for the computer industry, has established a European R&D centre in Galway, with the support of the IDA.

APC plans to invest over €1m in the new centre over the course of the agreement.

It is unclear whether any new jobs will result from the investment.

“The centre will play an integral part in developing the software and technology to keep APC at the forefront of its business and will create highly skilled jobs in Ireland. It will also expand the role of APC’s operations within the corporation,” announced the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, Mary Harney TD.

The Irish development team’s initial role in the new centre will be to develop software that will ensure compatibility of APC’s products with all relevant computer operating systems. The team was responsible for developing power protection software incorporated in Microsoft’s Windows 2000 operating system, as well as APC’s flagship consumer software offering, PowerChute Personal Edition. One of the projects to be undertaken at Galway is in a relatively new area of focus for APC: precision cooling products.

The APC announcement is consistent with the IDA’s strategy of increasing the amount of R&D activity within the multi-national sector in Ireland. David Hanna, manager of the IDA’s ICT division, told siliconrepublic.com that the IDA is supporting investment in activities that help the ICT industry “move up the value chain” away from low-end manufacturing. He added that there have been a number of R&D investments in Ireland over the last 12 months, where multinationals have decided to shift R&D resources to Ireland, but that these have gone unannounced due to internal sensitivities of the companies concerned.

APC has been in Ireland since 1994. It employs more than 5,000 worldwide including approximately 800 people at its three Irish operations, in Galway, Castlebar, Co Mayo and Dublin.

Pictured (from left) are: Sean Allison, project manager of APC Galway; the Tanaiste Mary Harney; and David Hanna, manager, ICT Division, IDA Ireland.

By Brian Skelly