SOURCE: Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland

September 21, 2011 09:00 ET

North Carolina's World-Leading Research Hubs Draw Visit by Ireland's Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

DUBLIN, IRELAND and RALEIGH, NC and CHARLOTTE, NC--(Marketwire - Sep 21, 2011) - In the final leg of a four-day trade mission to the South East United States, Ireland's Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton visits the research hubs of Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina. After a breakfast meeting today with Governor Beverly Perdue, Minister Bruton will preside over events and meetings with representatives from universities, institutes and businesses throughout the State.

North Carolina has shaped one of the world's most vibrant innovation economies through a combination of low-cost infrastructure and highly networked scientific working groups. Like Ireland, the State has put science, technology and innovation at the center of its strategy to build a knowledge-based economy. During his two-day visit, the Minister intends to further advance the "knowledge team" collaborations that link Ireland with North Carolina -- ties that are yielding breakthrough innovations in diverse areas.

Joining the Minister on the Enterprise Ireland-supported mission are representatives from 60 Irish companies and universities. The Minister will preside over lunches in both cities for the Irish representatives and local business leaders. In Charlotte, Mayor Anthony Foxx joins a lunch co-hosted by Enterprise Ireland and the World Affairs Council of Charlotte.

The centerpiece of the two-day North Carolina itinerary is a visit to Research Triangle Park (RTP), one of the world's top biotech innovation hubs. Here, Minister Bruton will engage with representatives from top local universities in discussions themed around turning world-class research into economic opportunities. Joining the Minister are representatives from Ireland's innovation ecosystem, including IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin.

The Minister will also meet with leaders from the UCD/RTI Applied Research Center (ARC). ARC is a joint venture between applied research leader, Research Triangle International (RTI) and Ireland's largest research university, University College Dublin (UCD). Together, the institutes are driving initiatives whose outputs will help address significant global challenges such as health and aging, social and economic wellbeing, and the environment. The collaboration illustrates how US institutes and corporations are turning to Ireland for its rich source of scientific talent -- a trend that's on an upward trajectory. Just a decade ago, a mere 10 percent of foreign direct investment in Ireland was R&D based. Today, that figure has soared to 50 percent.

Completing the itinerary are two Partnering Forums -- one with a focus on life sciences and clean-tech; the other targets the retail sector. The events aim to strengthen ties between Irish companies and customers/partners across the State. Participants include: Vordell, Daon, Vigitrust, Pixalert, Automsoft, Cylon Controls, Premium Power, Advanced Innovations, Open Oils, ResourceKraft, Wirelite, Eirdata, Instant Upright, Media Connections, Rainmaker Technologies, Fragrances of Ireland, Slendertone, Louet and BMR Beauty.

"North Carolina has an exceptional record of creating practical economic opportunities from world-class research," said Gerry Murphy, Director for North America at Enterprise Ireland. "Their strategy to invest in research, attract the best scientific brains and smartest business operators, and link them with capital represents the gold-standard blueprint for a 21st century knowledge economy. Given the similar ambitions of North Carolina and Ireland in driving the knowledge economy, we see significant scope for ongoing collaboration."

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