Kerry’s Science & Tech Sector to Create 180 Jobs in 2019

KerrySciTech News Release

Kerry’s science, technology and engineering sector will create over 180 new jobs in 2019, and there are positive indications for similar jobs growth in 2020.

This is according to the results of a survey of its members published by KerrySciTech today. KerrySciTech is an industry-led network of science, technology and engineering companies in the Kerry region. Companies have come together to highlight the combined strength of the sector, promote opportunities in sci-tech companies, foster collaboration and address common challenges such as talent sourcing.

The sci-tech cluster includes well-known Irish companies such as Fexco, Dairymaster, TriCel and Aspen Grove Solutions alongside Irish operations of global players such as JRI America, Astellas, Liebherr, and Kostal located just over the Kerry border in Abbeyfeale.

Kerry’s Science & Technology Sector

One of the hallmarks of Kerry’s science and tech sector is the number of homegrown businesses that have achieved global success. Kerry entrepreneurs have been punching above their weight for many years and their achievements have been recognised nationally and internationally. Brian McCarthy of Fexco, Edmond Harty of Dairymaster, Mike Stack of TriCel, Jerry Kennelly of Tweak.com, Mike Fitzgerald of Netfeasa, Sean Ryan of Aspen Grove Solutions and Jim Breen of PulseLearning are all former winners or finalists in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Their endeavours continue to have a very significant impact on the economic development of the county. Kerry is also the birthplace and headquarters of Kerry Group which has a global workforce of 25,000 and a turnover of €6.4 billion. Kerry Group is one of the many supporters of the new SciTech network.

The positive trend of producing world-beating start-ups continues, with Bioatlantis, Wazp, ViClarity and MyAccessHub among the newer Irish companies making waves in Kerry.

Who Is Recruiting?

Among the companies recruiting in 2019 is JRI America Inc. JRIA established a base in Tralee in 2012 and now employs close to 100 people. JRIA is part of a specialist IT subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG). SMFG owns Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Japan’s second-largest bank by asset size and a Fortune Global 200 company. JRI America is currently hiring QA Engineers, systems engineers and a number of cybersecurity-related positions including threat analysts in Tralee.

Dairymaster will also expand their workforce in the coming year. Commenting on their plans for 2019, Professor Edmond Harty, CEO of Dairymaster said “Developing and manufacturing technological solutions which optimise efficiency in agriculture around the globe is at the heart of what we do, mechanical engineering, electronics, software, technical services, installation, sales and marketing are key roles within our business. It is the creativity and technical excellence of our team and processes that define the Dairymaster brand and underpins our growth and success”. Dairymaster plans to create 50 new positions at its headquarters in Causeway, Co. Kerry.

Other cluster members recruiting include Astellas, Bioatlantis, Diomac, Fexco, Fluirse, Listal, Netfeasa, PulseLearning, TriCel, Tweak.com, ViClarity and Wazp.

The Search for Talent

Eighty per cent of companies surveyed said that they would create more positions in Kerry if the talent was readily available, highlighting the potential for Kerry SciTech to expedite the growth of the sector. Software developers, data scientists and senior life sciences professionals are among the most sought after. KerrySciTech has recently launched a new website, www.kerryscitech.com, and it has produced a series of video case studies targeting both mobile talent and Irish professionals considering returning home. Interested candidates can view details of positions that are currently open and find out how to apply on the website.

The global nature of the businesses in the science and technology sector is reflected in their workforce, with professionals in the Kerry science and tech sector coming from China, India and Brazil, USA Russia and Ukraine, while Japan, Egypt, Ethiopia and Chile also feature. In Europe France, Italy, UK, Poland and Portugal feature prominently alongside several eastern European countries.

Business Concerns for 2019

Key issues for the year ahead cited by the businesses in this week’s survey are:

• attracting the right talent

• solving complex business and technological challenges

• managing the risk of a potential global slow-down

While Brexit was a factor for some, it did not rank highly in the companies’ list of concerns.

Other findings highlight the importance of R&D and third-level Education facilities; all of the companies surveyed have strong relationships with 3rd level institutions for research, partnership projects, skills development and recruitment purposes. Not surprisingly, a high proportion of the companies have a close relationship with the Institute of Technology, Tralee.

Positive News

Welcoming the findings of the survey, John Gannon, Chairman of Kerry SciTech said “The rate of growth and the momentum achieved by our member companies is heartening as is the global customer footprint of these Kerry success stories. They have built global brands and compete in hypercompetitive markets.”

The latest announcement by Kerry SciTech companies comes on the back of two other positive announcements by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland in recent months: In August, Sigmar Recruitment confirmed that it will create 50 jobs in its European Talent Hub, which has recently opened in Tralee. In December the IDA announced that UK-based Central Pharma will create 100 jobs in Tralee over the next 5 years.

About KerrySciTech

KerrySciTech was formed in 2016 when companies in the county’s science, technology and engineering sector came together to highlight the scale and potential of the sector, promote collaboration and to address common challenges. Public sector partners include Kerry County Council, IT Tralee, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Kerry ETB. The network is funded by member businesses and received matching funds under the Enterprise Ireland Regional Enterprise Development Fund. For further information, please visit www.kerryscitech.com.

For further information, contact: Marie Lynch, Project Consultant, Kerry SciTech. Tel: (086) 4183442. Email: [email protected]
John Gannon, Chairman, Kerry SciTech. Tel: (087)9880427. Email: [email protected]

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