As the world’s second largest software exporter, Ireland is recognised internationally as a leading location for companies in the Software sector. Sixteen out of the top 20 global technology firms have strategic operations in Ireland, including Microsoft, Google, Apple and Facebook.
Ireland’s reputation as a centre of Software excellence is unrivalled in Europe. It is home to over 900 Software companies, including both multinational and indigenous firms, employing 24,000 people and generating €16 billion of exports annually. The sector’s wide-ranging activities include Software Development, R&D, Business Services and EMEA/International headquarters.
Ireland’s young, highly skilled, flexible workforce has fuelled the rapid growth of the country’s Software sector. This has been underwritten by extensive investment by the State in education and research. Ireland now proudly boasts the third highest proportion of maths, science and computer graduates in the 20-29 age group in the EU.
Increased investment by the Irish government in R&D in both industry and third-level institutions has seen the establishment of world-class software research centres to offer state-of-the-art capability and resources.
Ireland’s geographic location, membership of the EU and the fact it is the only English-speaking member of the Eurozone provides a highly attractive proposition for multinational firms. It also enjoys incredibly close ties with the US thanks to the strong influence of the Irish Diaspora throughout America.
Almost every globally recognised Software company has a base in Ireland. This has not only catapulted Ireland to being one of the major global players in the Software sector, but has created a deep pool of talent that has turned Ireland into a hotbed for indigenous firms.
The activities of Software companies located in Ireland vary greatly from Development to Business Services (multilingual customer/technical support, financial shared services and supply chain management). Many larger organisations also locate their EMEA/International headquarters in Ireland. Sales, marketing, localisation, data hosting and IP management are also important activities.
Even though the activities of firms located in Ireland are wide-ranging, the sector has developed high levels of expertise in an array of specialist areas, such as Telecommunications, Digital Media and E-Learning. This expertise is harnessed and focused through skill-based networks where companies exchange knowledge and know-how, and have access to cutting-edge university-based R&D.
Corporate R&D activity is supported by world-class software research centres, established by Science Foundation Ireland and supported by the Irish Government.
Based at University of Limerick, The Irish Software Engineering Research Centre (LERO) focuses on developing new techniques to allow software to enhance itself automatically, without risk to its performance, reliability or security. Its industry partners include IBM, HP, Toyota, Oracle, Boston Scientific, Intel, Microsoft, Siemens and Motorola.
The Telecommunications, Software and Systems Group (TSSG) is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for ICT research and innovation. It is ranked among the top institutions in Europe with regards to Future Internet Research (seen as being on a par with the research centres of Nokia, Ericsson, FhG FOKUS). Industry partners actively engaged with TSSG include Nokia, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Alcatel-Lucent – as well as a range of Tier 1 operators.
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