Irish north-west establishes programme to woo US tech firms

30 Jun 2016

The Irish tech and life sciences sectors are more than just Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick, and now the north-west has established a programme to encourage US companies to move to the region.

While to some it might appear as if Silicon Docks is the only example of the successful encouragement of major MNCs to Ireland, there remain continued efforts to bring similar investment to more remote parts of the country, such as the Irish north-west.

The latest such effort has now been announced by regional county and local councils, with the establishment of a new economic development programme targeting tech and life sciences companies, which will serve a dual mission in assisting US companies to use the region as a gateway to Europe.

Future Human

Given the quid-pro-quo aspect of the relationship, this new programme will also help Irish companies expand into the North American market.

First stop, Boston

The first entry point that has been established in the US is Boston, Massachusetts, with the economic development consulting firm Benchmark Strategies to support the bilateral trade and investment initiative in the region.

The region will be working closely with corporations, industry associations, and site selection consultants to build business partnerships that will lead to job creation and economic growth.

Despite the recent UK referendum vote which has set the wheels of Brexit in motion, those leading the programme in Ireland have said that one of its key strengths will be its cross-border partnership between Derry City and Strabane District, and Donegal.

A simple proposition

The next step in the programme, the group said, will come in November, when the region will lead a business delegation of technology companies that are interested in expanding to the US.

Jointly commenting on the move, CEOs of Derry City and Strabane District Council, and Donegal County Council said: “Our proposition is a simple one – we have some of the most talented, innovative and creative companies situated anywhere in the world.

“We can offer companies with expansion plans the opportunity to trade within both the EU and UK regulatory environments. We can support this expansion through superfast broadband connectivity, a university-educated skills base and a competitive corporation tax base.”

Fanad Lighthouse, Donegal image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic