Google establishes first European digital innovation centre
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD has opened a digital innovation centre at the Google HQ in Barrow Street, Dublin.
The Foundry represents a €5.5 million investment by Google and will be used as both a learning hub and showcase for innovation in the digital world.
Between now and the end of the year, 80 events have been scheduled for the centre that are expected to bring around 5,000 business people from around the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region to Dublin to share and learn. The first sessions will take place tomorrow, hosting IKEA, Swatch, Boots, Aer Lingus and Paddy Power.
The centre will both facilitate innovation and learning in a world which an Taoiseach described as experiencing "a bewildering speed of change".
Reiterating the Government’s commitment to developing the digital economy, an Taoiseach said, "Today’s establishment by Google of its Digital Innovation Centre here in Dublin is strategically significant. It will draw companies from across Europe to Dublin and will enhance Ireland’s reputation as the Internet Capital of Europe. Any global digital company looking to locate in Europe will find it very hard to bypass Dublin."
"I hope the Foundry can be an anvil for creativity," concluded an Taoiseach.
John Herlihy, VP and head of Google in Ireland, said that as the foundry had been at "the heart of the innovation" in the Industrial Revolution, where collaboration was vital, so this digital Foundry was conceived and founded to give digital natives a place to share and collaborate.
"Strategically it makes sense," said Herlihy, "to locate our Digital Innovation Centre in Ireland where we can leverage the incredible wealth of knowledge and skills within our own organisation and can share that with entrepreneurs, and established companies from all over Europe. Learning about digital, gaining new ideas and sharing their own stories can change the way businesses think in the new digital age. The Foundry will become the incubator for this exchange of knowledge".
Acknowledging Government support for companies such as Google, Herlihy praised an Taoiseach and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, adding "All the foundation stones have been put in place for Ireland to build a digital economy".
There was also acknowledgement for the role of the IDA, who Herlihy said was "wiping the floor with the competition" in terms of foreign direct investment.
"Digital industries form a key part of the Government’s plans for jobs and growth," said Minister Bruton, "and in the past year we have started to see real progress with 3,000 private sector jobs now being created every month. We must not only support world-leading multinationals like Google who are doing amazing things for the sector in Ireland, but also support Irish companies to take advantage of the opportunities that the digital revolution offers. The Action Plan for Jobs contains initiatives to provide supports, for example, to Irish companies to take advantage of the €4billion opportunity offered by trading online – but we must do more. The establishment of The Foundry within Google’s EMEA campus is a fantastic addition to Ireland’s supports to companies seeking to take advantage of the massive opportunities offered by online trading."
It is fully expected that the Foundry will continue its current event level through next year, which would represent around 15,000 business people coming to the centre from abroad, bringing with them custom and interest in the Irish digital scene.
"Building on Ireland’s reputation as the internet capital of Europe, The Foundry puts Dublin firmly on the Worldwide Digital Map, said Herlihy. "Whether a company is completely new to digital or is looking for new ways to further grow its business, Dublin will become THE place to learn about digital. We will bring together our customers and partners from Ireland and Europe which will make a long term positive contribution to Ireland."