Seagate invests £90m sterling in Derry R&D

2 Jul 2003

Disk drive maker Seagate is investing £90m sterling in the cutting-edge research, development and fabrication of next-generation disk drives at its two Derry plants in Springtown and Limavady.

A spokesperson for Invest Northern Ireland told that the investment will be solely in new technologies and systems and won’t see the creation of new jobs. “However, this investment over a three year period will safeguard the future of the existing 1,800 high quality jobs in two Seagate plants in Northern Ireland for years to come,” she said.

Backed by Invest Northern Ireland, the investment will see the creation of higher storage capacity disk drives as well as the creation of future R&D relationships between the electronics giant and local universities in the region.

The Northern Ireland minister for enterprise, trade and investment, Ian Pearson MP, commented: “As well as positioning the Springtown operation at the very centre of Seagate’s most advanced technology, the investment is a signal to the international electronics industry that Northern Ireland is a perfect location for knowledge-led companies with a strong global focus.”

The plant manager of Seagate in Derry, John Spangler, said: “Continued commitment to R&D is an essential part of Seagate’s corporate strategy to maintain technology leadership and our operations at Springtown and Limavady both have centres of excellence working on advanced technology projects.

“Springtown will play a central role in extending our capability to develop advanced technology products using a variety of materials that are required to provide the vast amounts of storage demanded by the latest digital systems.

“With more and more devices adopting digital technology formats, this creates opportunities for the company in new applications, including consumer devices such as televisions, personal video recorders, gaming consoles and MP3 players.

“The decision to locate this important strategic investment in Northern Ireland reflects our confidence in the high quality of talent available here and the successful experience that we have with the University of Ulster and Queens University in digital electronics,” Spangler said.

The investment follows an earlier R&D investment in April by Seagate to undertake strategic research into the next generation of magnetic recording technology and a Research Centre of Excellence at its Limavady plant.

By John Kennedy