Ireland is hoping US-based security companies will try their luck by establishing their European hubs in the island nation.

Calling itself the “Silicon Valley of Europe” with security companies such as McAfee, Symantec and FireEye already hosting European operations there, Ireland’s governmental Industrial Development Agency (IDA), is promoting additional foreign direct investment in the security sector. Dublin already serves as the European headquarters for a number of US non-security tech firms including Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

“Ireland is like a European Silicon Valley,” said Senan Ryan, Vice President Technology, IDA Ireland. “Traditionally, we saw that multinational companies, primarily in manufacturing, were choosing Ireland as their ideal place to locate their European presence but this is changing. Over the last 10 years, technology companies, and increasingly security companies, are realizing the benefits of locating their operations in Ireland. They are locating their support, back office, R&D and sales teams in Ireland.”

Ireland topped Forbes “The Best Countries for Business in 2013” ranking first out of 145 nations with the publication citing an educated workforce, one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe and the language factor for English speaking countries as the main reasons.

Ryan echoed the sentiments. “As the only English speaking country in the Euro Zone while being located in the heart of the US, Europe and Asia Pacific we offer the ideal location for organizations wanting to conduct business and we support easy and cost effective access to the rest of Europe,” he said.

As well, according to the Innovation Rankings Index: USA & the Rest of World, Ireland was 10th in the 2013 Top 10 Most Innovative Countries. The rankings, released earlier this month, are part of the Global Innovation Index (GII) and published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, an agency of the United Nations).

Ireland’s cyber security sector currently employs more than 6,000 people across several multinational and indigenous companies in a variety of roles from research and development to customer support.

Of the 6,000 employees in the security sector, pure play US security companies account for approximately 1400 people. In 2013, McAfee created some 60 jobs, FireEye created 150 jobs, Mandiant created 100 new jobs and Symantec added 400 new positions. Other US companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Accenture also have security operations in Ireland.

Leave a Reply