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Tuesday 20 March 2018

Selling our 'smart economy' on the Silicon Valley circuit

Lise Hand

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen met the president of one of the world's most renowned university's yesterday as he began the second leg of his US visit.

Mr Cowen met Dr John Hennessy, president of Stanford University, as he travelled to Silicon Valley in California.

He also opened a new Irish Innovation Centre in Silicon Valley which will act as a launching pad for Irish technology, software, communications and cleantech start-up companies. It was established by the California-based Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG), which is headed up by the former chairman and CEO of Intel, Dr Craig Barrett.

Speaking from California, Mr Cowen said that the centre would bring together "two crucial strands of the Government's plan for economic recovery -- the drive for innovation and the need to tap into the immense resource that is the diaspora.


"This is about making sure we line up Irish technology companies with companies in Silicon Valley and finding out how they can work together," he said.

Mr Cowen also launched Irish Network USA (IN-USA), a new States-wide organisation that links Irish networks in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, San Diego and Washington DC.

The Taoiseach's schedule on this leg of his US trip places heavy emphasis on selling the Government's smart economy and the drive to lure US companies to Ireland, particularly from the IT and research and development sectors.

"We'll be talking to people whom the IDA has already helped to bring to Ireland and see what their future plans are, and also talking to people who have shown an interest in coming to Ireland. It's about confirming the strategy that the Irish government, the Irish economy has to take, that we'll rebuild the economy for the future."

Tomorrow Mr Cowen has a series of meetings with US multinational companies and then attends a lunch hosted by Enterprise Ireland before leaving for Washington DC.

Irish Independent

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