Friday 14 December 2018

Galway wins huge 200-job artificial intelligence centre

Barry O’Sullivan, who sold Altocloud to Genesys earlier this year, said the company was looking at further acquisitions in Ireland
Barry O’Sullivan, who sold Altocloud to Genesys earlier this year, said the company was looking at further acquisitions in Ireland
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Galway is to get a new 200-staff-strong artificial intelligence research centre in one of the biggest high-end tech announcements outside Dublin this year.

The jobs are being announced by Genesys, the tech multinational firm which bought out Barry O'Sullivan's Altocloud startup earlier this year for an undisclosed sum.

The new jobs will be in research and development, machine learning, software engineering, user experience and data science.

A spokesman said that due to the high-end nature of the research jobs, the company will need to work "closely" with Irish universities and institutes of technology to make sure the qualified people are available to fill the technical roles.

The move is part of a Genesys plan to "make Galway a global hub for AI development", according to a company spokesman.

"The jobs are in high-end artificial intelligence research and development," said Barry O'Sullivan, Altocloud co-founder and a board member of Genesys. "We spend about $250m (€220m) a year on research and development, and Ireland is now going to be an important part of that."

Genesys, which makes and sells customer experience software, has more than 10,000 corporate customers, including some of the world's biggest tech firms such as Microsoft, Oracle, Airbnb and Uber.

"We're very ambitious here and are looking at other acquisitions," said Mr O'Sullivan.

The new jobs come amid a fresh tech expansion boom in Ireland, with major announcements made in recent weeks by Google, Facebook and Hubspot. However, the majority of the high-end jobs have been in Dublin, with relatively few outside the capital.

But Genesys bosses say that Galway has built up a reputation for research and achievement, partly based on the success of medical device companies there.

"Galway is a close second to Dublin when you're googling for places to live and work," said Mr O'Sullivan.

The increase in jobs and office space has led some analysts to speculate that big American tech firms are "hedging" their expansion bets on Ireland as the UK loses out on business due to Brexit.

Last month, the chief executive of the international cryptocurrency firm Coinbase said that Brexit "played some part in the decision" to choose Dublin as its next European office.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business