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Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny T.D. at the jobs announcement by Salesforce, Leopardstown on Wednesday 24th July 2013

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I'm delighted to be here today to officially open Salesforce's new state-of-the-art offices in Leopardstown.

The opening of these new offices will be the start of a new chapter of Salesforce's story in Ireland.

The company has been expanding in Ireland and I'm delighted to learn that it will create another 100 new jobs in addition to the 100 jobs that have already been created over the past year.

Since this Government came into office we have been busy promoting Ireland as the 'digital island', a hub for the European digital industry.
The decision by Salesforce to expand in Ireland is a sure vote of confidence in Ireland, in our people and our offering. It is a strong confirmation of Ireland's strengths in creating an excellent business environment for digital companies.

I would like to congratulate David Dempsey, Salesforce's Vice President who is heading up the Irish operation here in Dublin, on the company's success since its establishment in 2001.

David and everyone here at Salesforce should take pride in the fact that this facility is the largest Salesforce.com office outside of the USA.

I have personally seen a lot of exciting developments in the digital sector since becoming Taoiseach.

There isn't a week that goes by without hearing of another new service being offered out of Ireland. New services that probably weren't invented when we took office two years ago.
But as I look around the offices here this morning there is one thing I notice that all these digital companies have in common.

A passionate, innovative and dedicated workforce.

Time and time again I hear from senior Irish and American managers that this is one of the biggest attractions to locating business in Ireland.

So the success of Salesforce in Ireland is really down to you. You're the country's finest ambassadors.

I'd like to pay tribute to the approach of Salesforce in partnering with higher education institutions, including Cork Institute of Technology and University College Cork, in developing programmes that equip students with the skills we need for new jobs in cloud computing and Big Data.

I'm delighted to see increased cooperation between enterprise and academia, to ensure that research and development is commercialised to the benefit of all.

Cloud Computing and Big Data
Salesforce is what the Government means when it says Ireland needs an 'innovation revolution'. The company's work in areas such as cloud computing and Big Data align with our own support for these game changing sectors.

As an example of how important these developments in the digital sector have become to our enterprise environment, the issue of cloud computing policy was a general election issue in 2011 and went on to form the basis of commitments in our Programme for Government.

These commitments are now being delivered through the Government's Action Plan for Jobs. It aims to transform the Irish economy from a system that was based on property speculation and debt to an economy built on enterprise, exports and innovation.

Our 2013 Action Plan for Jobs includes seven landmark projects, or Disruptive Reforms, that the Government has identified as having potential to have a real and immediate impact on enterprise and jobs.

Two of these reforms are to make Ireland the leading country in Europe in Big Data and the most attractive location in the world for ICT Skills availability.

An example of measures delivered under the Action Plan for Jobs is the recent announcement of a major new Big Data/Data Analytics Centre called INSIGHT.

INSIGHT has a cohort of 250 top researchers, spanning across UCD, NUI Galway and DCU, collaborating with 45 industry partners. It is a 6 year, €80 million research project with industry providing a 30% contribution.

Big Data is now a sector which is growing at 40% per annum worldwide and Ireland has distinct advantages compared to other countries.

In addition, by 2018 we aim to have the highest percentage of computing graduates as a proportion of all tertiary graduates. We are working towards this through a process of increased programme places, re-skilling and conversion courses and through targeted migration of people with key skills.

The aim this year is to deliver an additional 2,000 ICT graduate-level professionals available to industry.

Conclusion
For these reasons I expect the future to be bright for Salesforce and the wider digital sector in Ireland.

The Government will continue to do everything it can to help grow the sector and create more jobs.

I would like to wish Salesforce every success with their new offices which I now declare officially open.

Thank you.