Seagate to invest £34.7m in new Derry R&D project

Company to take on 35 additional engineers to work on assisted magnetic recording initiative

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the R&D project also underlined the US company’s commitment to the city.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the R&D project also underlined the US company’s commitment to the city.

 

FRANCESS McDONNELL

Seagate Technology is to invest £34.7 million (€43.8 million) in a major new research and development project in Derry.

The American company’s new R&D project will revolve around cutting-edge, heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology and requires a team of 178 people.

Many of the new project team already work for Seagate in Derry, which currently employs more than 1,400 people but the company plans to recruit an additional 35 highly-skilled R&D engineers to work alongside them.

David Mosley, Seagate’s President of Operations and Technology, said its Springtown team will work closely with Queen’s Ansin department - which is an advanced materials research and development hub that was set up as a joint venture between the university and the US company.

Mr Mosley said customer demand was driving the new research project in Derry.

“The explosive increase in demand for storage from mobile applications, cloud-computing infrastructures, social media, business applications and consumer markets is driving the need to develop new technology that can deliver greater storage capacity.

“Invest NI’s support has been vital to enabling us to make this Research & Development investment in Northern Ireland,” Mr Mosley added.

The North’s First Minister Peter Robinson and the deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness have welcome the major investment boost for the North West.

Mr Robinson said: “Seagate has made an enormous contribution to the Northern Ireland economy over the last 21 years and this investment of almost £35million underpins the company’s commitment to Northern Ireland and its confidence in our high quality of staff and ability to deliver the highest quality services.

“Today’s announcement is the largest research and development investment this year accounting for over 40 per cent of Northern Ireland’s target for 2014. It is the latest in a series of R&D investments over recent years that have enhanced the Springtown facility’s strategic importance within the wider Seagate operation. When fully operational, this major project will provide almost 180 highly trained staff including 35 new high value positions with an average salary of £35,000 per annum.”

Meanwhile the deputy First Minister said the R&D project also underlined the US company’s commitment to the city.

Mr McGuinness said: “Since 1993 Seagate has invested in the north in excess of £1billion in terms of capital, research and development spend, salaries and UK sourcing. Locally, employing over 1,300 people Seagate is a major employer in the North West and their presence here continues to make a massive difference to people, families, businesses and the wider community.”

Invest NI has offered Seagate £7.8million of assistance, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund towards the investment project.