Press Release 31 Mar 2014

A NEW direct air route between Dublin and San Francisco is set to boost Ireland’s profile and visibility as a business location in the Silicon Valley region, according to IDA Ireland, commenting just days before the launch of the new service.

The Aer Lingus route, which will fly five times a week starting on Wednesday April 2nd, will allow executives from IDA-client companies like Facebook fly between their offices without lengthy and expensive stopovers.

Barry O’Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland, will be travelling on the inaugural direct flight to San Francisco where he will meet with West-coast based clients as part of 2 day investment mission.

“Approximately 40 percent of the foreign direct investment to Ireland from the US comes from the Silicon Valley area,” said O’Leary.

“Major technology companies, such as LinkedIn and Google have their international headquarters in Dublin while their founding HQs are in the San Francisco area. What was needed was air access to bring the two operations centres closer, thankfully we now have that and that boosts the offering Ireland can present to the vibrant Silicon Valley community, making Ireland even more visible to companies looking to internationalise.”

Managing Director of Facebook Ireland, Sonia Flynn said:

“Dublin is a thriving hub for innovative, fast growing businesses – so we’re delighted to see the city connected to Silicon Valley again. Ireland’s economy can only benefit from connections to sources of investment and growth, so we’re happy to have worked with the IDA to help reinstate this direct route. Since arriving in Ireland in 2009, Dublin has offered Facebook talent in abundance and we currently have plans to expand our team at our new offices in Grand Canal Dock.’’

IDA said the IT sector represented 30 percent of Dublin office take-up in 2013 and US tech giants alone invested more than $130bn (approximately €95bn) into Ireland between 2008 and 2012 – the same as in all of developing Asia.

California accounts for 55% of all US venture capital investment and IDA has a team of 6 individuals in the State focusing on these opportunities. Over recent years, the IDA team has delivered a very strong pipeline of other West Coast giants including, PayPal, Twitter, Apple, Intel, eBay, Qualcomm, Oracle, McAfee and Yahoo!.

There are 179 companies employing over 36,000 people in Ireland from the West Coast of the US. These companies are primarily based in the technology and digital media sectors. For IDA Ireland, the West Coast is the largest single source for FDI projects. In 2013, 30 investments from West Coast companies were approved and involved more than 3,000 Irish jobs, or approximately one quarter of the total jobs created by IDA Ireland that year.

Media Contacts:
Kevin Sammon, Head of Public Relations, IDA Ireland
Tel: +353 87 6188564 / @sammonkevin

Sarah Jane English, Public Relations, IDA Ireland
Tel: +353 87 7513699

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