In a ceremony at the Guildhall Tuesday in Derry, Raytheon Systems Limited, a subsidiary of the Lexington, Mass.-based Raytheon Company, took another step toward the establishment of its new multi-million-pound software development center. The company will finalize selection of a facility in Derry and begin staffing the center immediately, with more than a dozen employees to be in place before the end of the year, and up to 150 employees over the next three years, the company has announced.
Raytheon is establishing the center with support from the Industrial Development Board for Northern Ireland.
Raytheon Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel P. Burnham, in Derry to mark the occasion, announced that the center will support a variety of Raytheon’s electronics programs, including air-traffic-control systems for European and other airports. Raytheon is one of the world’s leading providers of international air-traffic-control systems.
Joining Raytheon at the Guildhall were Northern Ireland Office Minister George Howarth; Alan Gillespie, chairman of the IDB; SDLP leader John Hume; Derry Mayor Patrick Ramsey, and Northern Ireland First Minister-elect David Trimble.
"We’re delighted to be in Northern Ireland, setting an example for other companies also to consider investing here," Burnham said. "Raytheon is indebted to John Hume for his unwavering encouragement. We also are very appreciative of the support from the IDB in helping to develop our plans for this important project."
Said Hume: "I very strongly welcome the decision of Raytheon to locate a major software plant in my home city of Derry. It will be warmly welcomed by all of our citizens. It is an act of great economic confidence in our city and is another major step forward in our dream to make our Foyle Valley the Silicon Valley of Europe."
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Raytheon chose to establish this software center in Derry to take full advantage of the broad range of talented software graduates and experienced software professionals in this region.
"Recruiting talented technical professionals has become a priority business issue, and we are seeking out the best," Burnham said.
Two local universities, University of Ulster and Queen’s University, will be unique contributors to this effort. Raytheon is committed to working with them on research and development, recruitment and employee development.
This latest business initiative in Northern Ireland builds on the success which Northern Ireland has enjoyed in recent years in attracting projects from companies such as Seagate, Stream, Liberty Mutual, Northbrook Technologies, IMR and Western Pacific Data.