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How Ireland’s digital disruption is benefitting the UK

Ireland is one of the major tech capitals in the world with nine of the top ten US technology companies including Google and Apple operating there.

The pull from these major players has contributed to an explosion of talent across the digital space. Irish companies have access to world-class leaders in digital technology and 70% of Enterprise Ireland start-up client companies specialise in digital technologies. With the UK remaining Ireland’s most dynamic and important trading partner, both nations can benefit from this entrepreneurial spirit within the digital space.

With the UK an important tradng partner for digitally-intensive sectors globally, the collaboration between the two countries is beneficial for both economies. The Irish tech industry is forecast to grow more than 20% in 2018, with revenues across indigenous Irish IT services and digital sector expected to reach €3.5billion.

As a result of this and similarities in market demands, the UK can easily opt for Irish partners across digital technology contracts and projects. Due to a strong connection and close proximity, Irish and UK partners have huge opportunities to be at the forefront of these disruptive technologies.

Ireland has exceptional talent within the digital tech industry that can be shared with the UK. The favourable economic and lifestyle conditions have attracted young tech talent from around the world, who come to Dublin to study, work, live and even start their own businesses. In addition, Dublin's three universities and four institutes of technology also produce thirty thousand graduates per year, 28% of which graduate with science and engineering qualifications . Given the short distance, sharing talent across both isles can be done with ease and there are fewer challenges with the recruitment and onboarding processes.

Enterprise Ireland recently hosted ‘Digital Disruption’ - an event which celebrated innovative Irish companies who were growing and succeeding in the UK. One participant was CitySwifter – a business intelligence and analytics company that allows major transport authorities to optimise their urban bus networks using advanced data science. CitySwifter was accepted in to the Wayra programme supported by Telefonica and was also chosen as one the main Smart Mobility companies to take part in the Cityverve project, which is the UK’s demonstrator for Internet of Things and Smart Cities. Due to this market collaboration it was identified that this disruptive technology has the potential to evolve city bus networks and provide a more efficient and cost-effective service to the public within the UK.

It is companies like CitySwifter that are not only contributing to the UK economy but to wider environmental factors. Innovative and disruptive tech developments in sectors such as transport and education are vital to futureproofing the next generation and we believe Ireland c

In a global economy it is important to work together in attracting and retaining great talent so both nations continue to innovate and hold their high regarded position in the digital tech space. The UK and Ireland hold strong trade ties and can mutually benefit through this ongoing collaboration.

Author details: Padraic Geraghty is a Market Advisor at Enterprise Ireland UK. Enterprise Ireland is the Irish Government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets and is the third largest seed investor in Europe.

Padraic Geraghty

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