Making the South East not just the digital region of Ireland, but a global player in the Digital World is the aim of an initiative launched in Waterford this morning (Monday).
Crystal Valley Tech is the coming together of around one hundred ICT companies working together to attract entrepreneurs, employees, new start ups and investment to the region.
Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, said ideas like this helped the organisation to sell the region as an investment destination:
“I think it’s fantastic and the IDA is delighted to support it. This is obviously companies coming together to showcase what’s on offer in the South East. We have some great companies doing sophisticated development here. We need ground-up initiatives like this in all regions and for regions to make themselves more competitive and we will go out then and market that.”
The companies represented ranged from IDA-supported multinationals like Sun Life, Bluefin and SE2 to indigenous start-ups such as Immersive VR, Sedicii and Kollect.ie
Approximately half of the companies involved originated at Waterford Institute of Technology’s TSSG (Telecommunications Software Group). President of WIT Professor Willie Donnelly said he was proud of how far Waterford had come in the past 20 years:
“I’m very proud of what we achieved, not just me, but we as a group. 20 years ago we had a vision, people thought we were mad, we said we were going to create an ICT industry in the South East, and we’ve done it. 50 percent of companies here today have their origins in the TSSG… I’m glad WIT is at the heart of this fantastic development.”
The central message emerging from the launch was that collaboration between the ICT companies in the region and education was the key to making the South East region stronger.
Minister of State in the Department of Finance Michael Darcy said the government’s plan for 2040 emphasised regional growth.
The Wexford TD said counties can no longer work in isolation:
“There are no county boundaries any longer it’s all about regions. Expertise needs to be able to move much more easily whether they choose to commute to the job from other towns an cities, that’s why we build infrastructure. That’s why Ireland 2040 is so important. The connectivity in the region will be improving, the N25 between Waterford and Cork and the New Ross bypass will be opening aswell.”