FINE Gael Cork East TD, Tom Barry, has today (Monday) said that Cork has the potential to be developed as a hub for high tech investment, by replicating the successful model of the IFSC in Dublin. Deputy Barry added that last week’s decision by Apple to significantly expand its facility in Cork underlined the region’s ability to attract world class IT investment.
“The announcement by Apple last week that it is to expand its operations at Hollyhill, with the creation of 500 jobs, is further proof of Cork’s capability to attract inward investment from firms that are world leaders in high tech research, innovation and product development. I believe now is the time to consider developing an IT hub in Cork, modelled on the success of the IFSC in Dublin.
“The IFSC has become home to some of the world’s top financial firms; a total of 430 international operations are approved to trade in the IFSC, while a further 700 managed entities are approved to carry on business under the IFSC programme. This includes half of the world’s top 50 banks and to half of the top 20 insurance companies.
“This template could be replicated for the IT sector in Cork. In order for this to be successful, a link up with academia is essential. Cork IT achieved a world first in creating an academic qualification in cloud computing, which has already attracted students from all over the world. The success of the new BSc and MSc in Cloud Computing has recently led to the announcement of two new courses which will be funded by a new Government initiative aimed at creating jobs and filling skills gaps.
“These developments in education are coupled with the fact that significant progress has been made in delivering world class broadband in Cork by linking to the Tier 1 Trans-Atlantic submarine broadband connector. These factors, as well as the existence of a number of high tech firms in Cork, mean the city is well poised to move to the next level by establishing an IT hub.
“The Action Plan for Jobs identifies the high tech industry as key growth sectors. We are continuing to attract high-growth early stage companies to Ireland. I will continue to work with Government to ensure as many of these firms as possible pick Cork as their location of choice.”