Mexican city to be twinned with Dublin, says Lord Mayor
Link with benefit both cities as technology hubs
Lord Mayor of Dublin Naoise O Muiri. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times
Dublin and Guadalajara will become technology twins under plans revealed by Lord Mayor Naoise Ó Muirí yesterday.
He was in Guadalajara briefly before travelling to San Jose, California, for the annual trip to mark Dublin’s links with the Silicon Valley capital.
While there he revealed he has already begun the process of twinning Dublin with Guadalajara to promote business links between the two cities.
Guadalajara was recently selected as Mexico’s technology hub and will become the focus of efforts to create a Central American version of Silicon Valley.
Mr Ó Muirí said: “This is an opportunity for Irish companies to target Central and South America, and we would see Dublin as a hub for companies coming from there to Europe. The focus of the digital hub in Guadalajara is the Spanish-speaking world and that’s a market we can also pursue.”
He said the relationship with Guadalajara would enhance existing ties with San Jose, creating a trio of digital hubs and bringing innovators in the US, Europe and Central America closer together.
During his time in Mexico, Mr Ó Muirí met governor of Jalisco and former mayor of Guadalajara Jorge Diaz. Following the meeting, he said he expects a representative of Guadalajara to visit Dublin in an official capacity soon as the two cities build a partnership.
He said he wants Dublin and Guadalajara to emulate San Jose’s entrepreneurship.
“In Silicon Valley, they have been very good at building the infrastructure around the big tech companies that are here. There are lots of incubators and start-ups and investments and we haven’t seen that in Dublin yet. We have a lot of big technology companies in Dublin but we haven’t been able to develop the economy around that.”
He suggested Ireland could benefit from better links between business and universities, greater investment and encouraging more people to come to Ireland to study, work and build their businesses.
“In Silicon Valley, 35-40 per cent of CEOs are foreign-born and it is very much accepted here that you encourage people to come in and innovate,” he said. “We have to make it easier for those sort of people to come to Ireland.”
Silicon Valley scholarship
Dublin and San Jose were twinned 27 years ago during Bertie Ahern’s time as lord mayor. Last year, a scholarship was set up whereby Irish students will be brought to study in San Jose and work at Cypress Semiconductor, one of Silicon Valley’s most successful technology firms.