Category: Archive

Ireland talks enterprise in the Pacific Northwest

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The mission gave burgeoning Irish-based companies the opportunity to meet with some industry giants, and to spread the word about the products and services they offer.
Donohoe pointed out that the mission was focused on three areas with which the Northwest is synonymous — telecoms, aerospace and technology. The area is most famously home to the headquarters of Microsoft Corporation and to a huge Boeing plant. A number of other influential companies have a significant presence in the region.
While the primary purpose of the mission was to strengthen the relationship between Irish companies and their future clients, some companies also took the opportunity to announce new deals.
For example, Dublin-based Sigmar Aviation released a statement on Tuesday to highlight its working relationship with a wholly owned Boeing subsidiary, Alteon Training.
Alteon is in essence a company that specializes in training staff for the airline industry — it covers flight, technical and cabin crew training, and also runs more than 70 flight simulators in more than 20 locations worldwide. The Irish company will provide flight crew and personnel to assist Alteon in its training programs.
Sigmar Aviation CEO Richard Wall said that companies like his own and Alteon were well positioned to take advantage of recent changes in the aviation industry:
“The new emphasis on streamlined operations over the last few years has caused a change in pilot training from airline-sponsored to self-sponsored,” Wall said. “In the future we see the majority of airlines setting the standards, then having external providers deliver ready-made pilots.”
Some other companies used the mission to launch new products. Arconics is a software company specializing in aviation technology. On Monday, it announced the launch of a new innovation, Manual Manager 1.0.
The product is designed to help pilots who have come to rely increasingly on what is called an Electronic Flight Bag — a laptop or tablet computer that contains crucial information about the aircraft they are flying. At present, navigating the information on the computer can be cumbersome and time-consuming. The Dublin-based company’s software is intended to make it easier to find one’s way around the relevant information. In doing so, it could also reduce the turnaround time for aircraft.
Arconics’ founder and CEO Niall O’Sullivan spoke to the Echo from Seattle, having just emerged from a meeting with Boeing executives. O’Sullivan stressed that a trade mission enables companies like his to get access and to raise their profile in a way that would otherwise be impossible.
“It’s absolutely unbelievable the way we can benefit from something like this, and from the things Enterprise Ireland can do for a company in general,” he said.
“I’ve already done three or four interviews with the top magazines in the airline industry — that alone is something you couldn’t do under your own steam unless you paid a PR company to work for you.
“I’ve also just made a presentation to about 12 senior Boeing officials and I have another 2-hour session scheduled with other people in the industry. It just wouldn’t be feasible for us to roll out the whole marketing and sales operation you would need to do that on your own.”
Similar views were expressed by other companies, even those operating in very different areas. Nephin Games is a Galway-based firm that designs interactive games that can be played on cellphones. On Monday, it announced a worldwide deal, in conjunction with the Mobile Media Company, to distribute a kickboxing game. The product was designed by Nephin in conjunction with the World Kickboxing Network (WKN). Nephin CEO Alan Duggan told the Echo that, for the WKN “the game is a great tool to connect to younger people”.
Duggan said that the trade mission was “very helpful” in raising company profile.
“If Nephin Games visited Seattle, that would be no big deal,” he said with a laugh. “But if you do it under the umbrella of a trade mission led by the President of Ireland, it’s a very different story.”

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