Schwarzenegger gives Silicon Valley awards to Irish tech stars


16 Mar 2010

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Dublin-based RedMere and Belfast-based SiSaf were presented with awards on behalf of the Irish Technology Leadership Group by California’s “Governator” Arnold Schwarzenegger.

RedMere picked up the ‘Innovation Award’. RedMere designs and markets chipsets that are used in the fast-growing HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) devices market, from flatscreen televisions to surround-sound systems. The advanced communications microchip technology manages the faster flow of complex video and audio data to improve performance and reliability.

Belfast-based SiSaf picked up the ‘Most Promising Technology Award’. SiSaf is an innovative drug-delivery company focused on the design and formulation of solid nanoparticles and their application in topical, sub lingual, and other dermal forms of drug delivery. SiSaf’s proprietary technology is based on a novel synergistic drug delivery formula that uses nanoparticles to allow active compounds to penetrate deeper into the dermal layer, to target the cell membrane, and to be released in a controlled manner.

What is the ITLG?

Established in 2007, the ITLG is a group executives and technology leaders in Silicon Valley who are Irish or Irish-American, each of whom are committed to helping Irish start-up companies.

At the weekend, the Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD opened a new Innovation Centre in Silicon Valley which was spearheaded by the ITLG and was described by Cisco senior vice-president Barry O’Sullivan as a concrete outcome from Farmleigh. The centre, which is supported by a €250,000 investment from the Department of Foreign Affairs as well as the ITLG members’ own funds, can support up to 30 Irish start-ups at a time who are intent on making a breakthrough in Silicon Valley.

Chaired by Dr Craig Barrett, members of the ITLG include John Hartnett, CEO of G24i, Inc., John Gilmore, CEO of Sling Media, Conrad Burke, president and CEO of Innovalight Inc., Rory McInerney, vice-president, Intel, and Barry O’Sullivan, senior vice- president at Cisco.

"Innovation is vital and Ireland’s technology companies continue to offer great promise both in their home markets and on the international stage," said John Hartnett, founder of the ITLG. “It is very rewarding to see Redmere and SiSaf being recognised for their success."

An Irish-American gathering

Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, attended the event, along with senior public officials and executives from both Irish and American companies. The event was hosted by Barrett, the former CEO and chairman of Intel Corporation.

The chairman and founder of CyberSource, William McKiernan, was also recognised by the ITLG for his contribution to advancing the position of Ireland as a centre for innovation and excellence in technology.

About 295,000 businesses use CyberSource electronic payment solutions, including half the companies comprising the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

“It’s an honour to be recognised by the ITLG,” said McKiernan, “but the real beneficiary of our connection with Ireland has been our company. We have found access to great engineering talent and in the short time we’ve been operational in Belfast, we have seen significant progress against some demanding research and development goals.”

By John Kennedy

Photo: California Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger