Bruton says Web Summit Lisbon move is disappointing

Minister welcomes creation of 320 new tech jobs

Digital Development Editor of The Irish Times, Hugh Linehan, looks around Machine Summit, a section of the Web Summit, to find out what technology we're likely to be using in the next few years.

 

Minister for jobs and innovation Richard Bruton said it was disappointing that the Web Summit had chosen to move to Lisbon but maintained that State agencies had consistently worked with the organisation over the years. He also said and that the Government would cooperate with the organisers in the future.

Mr Bruton also took the opportunity to welcome the creation of 320 new jobs by six US technology firms.

Mr Bruton was speaking at the Web Summit which is taking place in the RDS. The event has been dogged by controversy over the move to Lisbon and whether the State could have done more to ensure it stayed in the capital.

“It is obviously disappointing that a decision has been made to move on, but Ireland and Dublin remain a very vibrant entrepreneurship space and that won’t change. We will continue to build on that and I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities to showcase those strengths that we have here.”

Welcoming the new jobs Mr Bruton said:“Today’s announcement that six such companies are creating 320 jobs in Ireland is a great boost and a huge indication of what’s possible in this area.”.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny welcomed the announcment also.

The jobs will be created in Dublin over the next three years. Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the creation of the jobs by such “digital pioneers” was fantastic news for Ireland and “further added to our reputation” as a location for emerging companies.

On the Web Summit issue Mr Bruton went on to say: “Well I think the Web Summit has always been an excellent opportunity and our agencies have used it consistently over the years. There have been dozens of networking events, hundreds of contacts made at meetings and they have delivered. We participate in such events, not only here in Dublin but throughout many locations, SWS, Techcrunch and so on, ” Mr Bruton said.

Listen: Pamela Newenham reports from the Web Summit

Meeting

Asked if he planned on meeting with the organisers and bringing the event back to Dublin, Mr Bruton said: “I’m always meeting. I know Paddy Cosgrave very well and obviously if in the future there is a return, we will be very keen to support it.

“We have supported the Web Summit from the start. I would regard the Web Summit as a very successful Irish startup. When you go back to when it started, with just 400 people attending and look at what it is now. It is, in itself a very successful Irish-born company that has grown a fantastic network. Clearly we want to support that company as it grows and diversifies.”

On Mr Cosgrave’s comments earlier in the week about “hush money” being given to the Web Summit, Mr Bruton said: “Paddy is entitled to his view of the world and everyone is. But from our point of view we have worked with our agencies consistently over the last four years.

Future

In response to questions on whether tensions were now too great between the Government and the Web Summit organisers for future cooperation, Mr Bruton said: “Not at all. I know Paddy well; I’ve known him for years and have participated with him at earlier events and promotional occasions.

The six US companies

Squarespace, a website publishing platform, will create 160 jobs in its EMEA headquarters in Dublin. It already employs 115 here in customer care and support.

Amazing.com, an online business course firm based in Texas, will create 50 jobs over the three-year period.

San Francisco-based Asana, which is behind an app that allows teams to track their work, will establish an operations centre in Dublin to meet what it described as growing demand. It will hire 30 people by 2017.

A stock-video company, Pond5, will initially create “up to 30” software development jobs.

Wave2Wave, a network connectivity company, will establish its international headquarters in Dublin, employing 30 people over three years.

The new headquarters will be responsible for sales and marketing, finance and operations and will commence R&D activity next year.

The sixth company, Primary Integration, is described as a mission-critical facilities/data centre, global commissioning and operational risk-management and consulting organisation. It has opened an office in Dublin and expects to have created 20 new posts for project managers and commissioning engineers in Dublin by the end of next year.