Tyndall and PCH join forces in strategy to generate 500 tech jobs in five years

24 Oct 2013

Liam Casey, CEO of PCH International

Cork’s Tyndall National Institute has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Liam Casey’s PCH International aimed at fast-scaling tech companies in Ireland to go global. The agreement is part of Tyndall’s new five-year strategy to generate more than 500 new jobs in start-ups, established firms and inward investment.

The MoU provides for close collaboration between PCH’s two programmes for start-ups, Highway1 and PCH Accelerator and Tyndall’s international network of more than 200 industry clients to identify market opportunities.

Potential projects will target the electronics, medical devices, energy and communication industries with research and development at Tyndall’s unique state-of-the-art research and pilot-line fabrication facilities in Cork.

Casey – known in tech circles as Mr China – has built up a global supply chain empire headquartered in Cork that completes the journey between the OEMs’ R&D lab to the cash register in stores all over the world, and aims to apply the lessons Casey has learned to enabling potentially the next big thing in technology to get to market leaner, fitter and sharper.

PCH, which employs 80 people in Cork, revealed earlier this year plans to employ an extra 1,500 people at a facility in Shenzhen near Hong Kong in a move that will grow employment to 3,000 worldwide.

Casey’s Highway 1 incubator in San Francisco, California, plans to seed, on average, 20 start-ups a year.

“We are delighted to partner with Tyndall,” Casey said. “The research work we have seen from them is world-class, particularly in the health and wellness market, and we are both focused on promoting successful high potential hardware start-ups.

“Tyndall’s expertise in ICT hardware research, combined with PCH expertise in getting products to market, means that we are creating huge opportunities for entrepreneurs in Ireland to achieve success on a global scale.”

Fuelling momentum

Established in 2004 as a successor to the National Microelectronics Research Centre (NMRC, founded in 1982) at University College Cork, Tyndall National Institute employs more than 460 researchers, engineers and support staff, with a full-time graduate cohort of 135 students generating more than 200 peer-reviewed publications each year. 

With a network of 200 industry partners and customers worldwide, Tyndall generates around €30m income each year, 85pc from competitively won contracts nationally and internationally. Tyndall is also a lead partner in European research partnerships in its core areas of ICT, communications, energy, health and the environment worth €44m, including €6m accruing to industry in Ireland (from Framework 7).

Tyndall CEO Dr Kieran Drain said powerful synergies exist between Tyndall’s skill in breakthrough ICT research and product development and PCH’s world-class design for manufacturing and delivery.

“Together we aim to provide end-to-end support for high-tech start-ups from concept to shelf, benefiting from PCH’s insights as a market leader to extend commercial reach from Ireland to China and beyond.”

The agreement was welcomed by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, who said Tyndall is a top-class research centre which has established a global reputation over its decade in existence.

“Today’s announcement that in the next five years it plans to create at least 500 jobs in industry is an example of what we are trying to deliver across our research infrastructure. I wish Tyndall and PCH International every success with their partnership and look forward to working closely with them as they deliver commercial outcomes and ultimately good jobs over the coming years,” Bruton said.

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