Limerick was the focus of a global business spotlight this week as technology leaders from Silicon Valley convened to participate in the Irish Technology and Leadership Group (ITLG) Global Technology Forum 2014.
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Limerick City and County Council, LIT, UL, Shannon Airport, Limerick Chamber and the ITLG, officially establishes stronger commercial ties for Limerick and the Mid-West with Silicon Valley, California.
It is anticipated that the region will benefit from this agreement in terms of fostering investment, job creation, collaboration on innovation and specialist facilities and strengthening education linkages.
“The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding with ITLG creates a gateway to Silicon Valley for Limerick by encouraging the exchange of ideas relating to innovation, technology, investment and entrepreneurship,” said Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kathleen Leddin. “The promotion of the Limerick Region will enhance business opportunities in the US, which will inevitably drive employment and encourage entrepreneurship.”
It is also envisaged that the closer collaboration established by the Memorandum signed with ITLG will also facilitate the twinning of Limerick with a city/town in California; this will further drive reciprocal benefits for Limerick City and County Council, Limerick Chamber, LIT, UL and Shannon Airport.
Hosted in venues across the city, the two-day ITLG events kicked off yesterday with the Young Innovators Day at Shannon Airport, with over 600 secondary school pupils participating in the innovation and entrepreneurship event, supported by Dell. The investor pitch camps at LIT saw more than 45 indigenous start-ups and businesses meet with the Silicon Valley venture capitalists and private investors to pitch for finance and business opportunities.
Also yesterday, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD joined Craig Barrett, former Intel CEO and chairman of ITLG, John Hartnett, CEO of ITLG, Pat Cox, chairman of Limerick City of Culture, and other dignitaries and guests at the LIT Limerick School of Art &Design at a showcase of cultural initiatives in the region.
The Global Technology Forum at UL, which took place today, was officially opened by the President of Ireland, Michael D.Higgins, and included keynote presentations and leadership panel debates on mobile technologies, innovation and entertainment innovation, investment and entrepreneurship by Rich Moran, a Silicon Valley investor; Barry O’Sullivan, VP, Cisco; Rosaleen Blair, CEO Alexander Mann; Caroline Dowling, president INS, Flextronics and many more industry leaders.
Commenting on the ITLG events in Limerick and Shannon, Maria Kelly, CEO, Limerick Chamber said: “Limerick’s impressive technology and business landscape is the focus of this year’s forum. The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the ITLG and local partners, Limerick City and County Council and Limerick Chamber will greatly benefit the business and technology sector in the region. Strengthening our links with Silicon Valley is key to facilitating commercial growth in the region.”