NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - July 13, 2010) -  During a three-day economic mission to New York this week, the Prime Minister of Ireland (An Taoiseach), Mr. Brian Cowen, announced new deals for Irish companies totaling US$7 million. In addition, Prime Minister Cowen met with several Enterprise Ireland clients that recently established operations in the New York area. Since the beginning of the year, 32 Irish companies opened and staffed offices in the U.S. Eight planted roots in New York City where they join 39 other Irish companies collectively employing nearly 3,300 people and making the City the top U.S. location for Ireland-based companies.

Prime Minister Cowen praised the Irish companies for their continuing sales successes in the U.S. market. He also commended those that recently established U.S. operations, noting, "It takes confidence and courage to expand during challenging economic conditions. But by expanding into the U.S., they're validating the competitive strength of their products and services, highlighting the importance of this region to their global business, and, most importantly, growing their business at home." 

The companies establishing a presence in New York join many other Ireland-based companies with entrenched operations in the country, making Ireland the 13th largest investor in the U.S. Currently, more than 82,000 Americans across all 50 States are employed by 220 Ireland-based companies. This sustained investment trend aligns well with the country's National Development Plan which recognizes the importance of export-led growth in top sectors that include: ICT, life sciences, international services, industrial and consumer products, and educational services.

As part of the local assistance offered to new market entrants, Enterprise Ireland provides incubator offices for U.S. market development strategically located in New York, Silicon Valley and Boston. Companies that used the services in the past six months include: Byrne Wallace (one of Ireland's largest law firms), Allergy Standards (product testing and certification for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America), Harmonia (Ireland's largest magazine publisher), M2M Telematics (remote monitoring for clean-tech), Socrates (practice-management software for life science companies), Trade Facilitate (international trade compliance/Microsoft trade solutions partner), and VigiTrust (software for corporate and governance compliance).

New York City Council Speaker, Christine C. Quinn, noted, "Enterprise Ireland is harnessing the Irish entrepreneurial spirit and bringing new innovation in business to New York City. We, too, are particularly interested in investing in innovation: it's one of the ways we're trying to bolster and strengthen our economy. We applaud the successful efforts of Enterprise Ireland in this direction, facilitating engagement and innovation in our business community here and across the Atlantic."

Central to Ireland's export-led economy is a comprehensive infrastructure dedicated to investing in innovation and turning world-class research into commercializable technologies and products. Last year, for example, the Government dedicated nearly US$57 million to support in-company research and development projects. 750 Enterprise Ireland companies invested substantial sums in advanced R&D, with 52 investing more than US$2.5 million. The focus on innovation begins at the country's Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) where the results are especially promising. 35 spin-outs emerged from Ireland's HEIs in 2009, marking a three-fold increase over the previous year. In addition, 95 technologies were licensed to companies in the same timeframe.

Not surprisingly, given Ireland's focus on investing in innovation, the number of indigenous technology start-ups is on the rise. In the last four years, more than 300 high-tech companies were established across the nation, with Enterprise Ireland supporting 73 in 2009 alone through an investment of US$26.5 million. Many were founded by returning emigrants -- former executives with large technology companies in the U.S. and elsewhere, now bringing international business acumen, expertise and connections to their new Ireland-based enterprises.

While promoting the accomplishments of the Irish companies planting roots in New York this week, Prime Minister Cowen will also meet with members of the Irish Diaspora which is especially strong in the region. The Diaspora community has long provided Irish start-ups with a conduit to capital and customers, with many Enterprise Ireland clients benefiting from the mentorship and market advice provided by more than 350 Ireland-based and international individuals. 

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Contact Information:

Media Contact
Jane Evans-Ryan
Genuity PR for Enterprise Ireland
Tel: (408) 489-6391