Turkish smartcard firm sets up in Belfast

15 Apr 2003

Istanbul-based smartcard technology firm Protekila has established a development centre in the North. The centre, which will act as a launch base for the company’s expansion into the EU and US market, will be based in west Belfast.

Protekila is an expert in network, payment and smartcard tehcnologies. It designs and manufactures products for a range of products including banking mobile solutions, GPRS, e-commerce internet connectivity, loyalty tracking systems, electronics transaction, secure data transmition and e-government.

The research and development-led company recently began operating at Invest Northern Ireland’s Whiterock Business Unit, which is purpose built to attract investors such as Protekila.

Director of Invest Ireland’s Business International Leslie Ross said: “Protekila is an innovation-led company which will bring important expertise to Northern Ireland in smartcards, a sector which is growing strongly in Europe as an ever-increasing number of organisations and businesses apply this technology. It will further enhance our existing software sector and provide opportunities in west Belfast. This investment confirms the potential in the area and reinforces the good work of the west Belfast task force.”

“The company had been seeking a location in Europe and had been influenced by the reputation of Northern Ireland in software. The company visited Northern Ireland and was impressed by the software expertise available and the high quality telecoms systems,” he added.

Ozer Koseoglu, Protekila’s executive manager, said: “We looked at a number of other locations including the Republic of Ireland but opted for Belfast because we believe it offers a supply of skilled software and electronics engineers. As we currently operate within Istanbul University campus, we were particularly keen to establish a relationship with universities in Northern Ireland that will support our existing and future R&D projects. Both Queen’s University and the University of Ulster have indicated that they are keen to work with us on the development of our technology and we look forward to building a working relationship with both institutions,” he added.

By Suzanne Byrne