Six companies from the North West City Region are this year participating in the 2022 Trade Mission to Boston and Philadelphia, in the United States.
The companies, representing technology, biotech, food and drink, creative industries and sportswear manufacturing, are part of a delegation led by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council.
The companies are – Alchemy (insurtech); C-TRIC (clinical research organisation); Wild Atlantic Distillery (spirits); Mc Daid (craft sodas); FIT PINK (active wear) and O’Reilly’s (high performance sportswear).
The purpose of the visit is to strengthen existing and build new relationships, promote the North West City region as a good place for investment and to sell priority sector opportunities and develop transatlantic innovation partnerships to drive mutually beneficial opportunities.
For the participating companies, the trip is a fantastic opportunity to help them generate new business opportunities in the United States market.
During their visit, the delegation will attend an engagement event at the Irish Diaspora Centre in Philadelphia, and meet with representatives from the City of Philadelphia Department of Commerce and the chair and board members of the Irish American Business Chambers Network (IABCN).
In Boston, the delegation will take part in a tour of the Cambridge Innovation Centre and the Harvard Innovation Lab as well as a reception hosted by the Irish Consulate to promote the Investment proposition of the region.
The trade mission is an opportunity for the North West City Region delegation to present a unique sales pitch to prospective investors citing the excellent cross-border opportunity by providing access to both UK and EU markets as a unique proposition. Other major selling points include the region’s genuine talent pool, our collaborative business and government environment and amazing quality of life.
The region’s very strong track record of successful industry led workforce development with academia and training providers, existing R&D infrastructure and innovation hubs, as well as its competitive cost model and the fact that it is home to growing number of multinational companies are all very strong pluses for those considering new investment locations.
An Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Liam Blaney, who travelled to the US as part of the delegation, said it is hugely important that the Ireland North West City region continues to link in with its contacts and partners in the US and across the globe to reiterate the message that the region is open for business with an extensive talent pool with access to both the UK and EU markets.
Councillor Blaney said: “I believe the strength of the travelling delegation that includes both Councils, the local Universities and Development partners demonstrates the importance placed on developing and maintaining linkages with key partners on the East Coast of America, as we continue to work together to attract investment to the North West City Region”
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Sandra Duffy said that it is hugely important that the region can build on its strong links and connections with the United States.
Mayor Duffy explained that since 2011 there have been 51 Foreign Direct Investment projects across the NW cross-border city region accounting for €1.98bn and the creation of 4320 jobs. The top 30 investments were delivered from 26 companies and accounted for 97% of capital investment and 90% jobs created respectively,
Mayor Duffy said: “The US remains a significant investor in Ireland (both north and south), top investors include Abbotts, Optum Inc (subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group), Seagate, Allstate NI, OneSourceVirtual and Metaverse Modsquad. The delegation is an opportunity to showcase what this cross-border city region has to offer in terms of what any business and global company needs to succeed.
“We offer a strong ecosystem, a genuine talent pool and access to both EU and UK markets. Major investors such as Allstate, DuPont, Optum (United Health Group), Zeus, Abbott, Tata Consultancy Services, Seagate and Terex Corporation are already reaping the benefits of our unique location. Intrinsic to our region’s success has been the supportive business environment, collaborative culture and role our further and higher education plays in ensuring a sustainable pipeline of talent with the right skillsets and this is something we will be actively promoting as part of this trip.”
One of the key elements of the investment mission is the attendance of the delegation at the annual Golden Bridges Conference that is being held this Friday, 18 November, when political leaders, business, community representatives, tourism and education providers from the North West City Region and Boston will join together to further bind their relationship.
This is the first year since 2019 that the hugely popular and influential transatlantic conference is being hosted physically after being held virtually for the previous two years. It will feature a range of speakers and delegates from the US, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, who will discuss themes of investment, innovation, tourism, culture and education.
The delegation is led by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with Ulster University, Atlantic Technological University, Udaras na Gaeltacht and the Donegal Local Enterprise.
Backgrounder on the companies:
Company: Alchemy Technology Services www.alchemytechs.com
Industry: Insurance Software Implementation Services (Insurtech)
Company overview: Alchemy Technology Services is a global centre of excellence for insurance software implementation and professional services, supporting the digitisation of the insurance industry. They provide highly skilled talent and expertise needed to progress the modernisation and growth of technology platforms. Alchemy work with medium and large businesses in the insurance, financial and technology sectors. They offer full lifecycle approach from software implementation, BAU, consultancy and project management, their unique working culture and working model makes them a natural choice for progressive transformative organisations, SIs and technology companies. The CEO and Founder, John Harkin, set up the company in 2018 and has been shortlisted for EY Ireland Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2022.
Company: C-TRIC www.c-tric.com
Industry: Clinical Research Organisation (CRO)
Company overview: C-TRIC is a state-of -the-art research and personalised medicine institute and not-for-profit company based at the largest acute hospital outside Belfast. C-TRIC facilitates life-changing translational and clinical research by providing specialist workspace and tailored services for academic researchers, clinical researchers and life and health science companies. C-TRIC assists companies test and validate their innovations bringing them from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside. Services include human factor studies, project management, participant recruitment, comparative and participative studies for medical devices, laboratory access, access to NHS consultants, doctors, research nurses and allied health professionals as well as in vitro-in vivo specialist work to include POCs/pilots.
C-TRIC is a key stakeholder in the city’s Personalised Medicine Centre which will provide leading capability in data analytics, biomarker discovery and medtech development along with the capacity to perform robust clinical trials and business support to commercialise and implement new diagnostic tests, drugs and technologies. The Personalised Medicine Centre will create a new healthcare quarter and new Healthcare Research Institute, a community-owned health company.
Company: Wild Atlantic Distillery www.wildatlanticdistillery.ie
Company overview: an award-winning distillery inspired by one of nature’s greatest wonders, the Porcupine Bank, situated 120 miles off the west coast of Ireland on the edge of the Atlantic. The name of the bank comes from a research vessel called ‘Porcupine’ which discovered them in 1862. Based in Co Tyrone, close to the Sperrins and the Wild Atlantic Way, the first gin and whiskey distillery to be established in Co. Tyrone
Company: McDaid Beverages https://football-special.com/
Industry: Craft Sodas
Since the 1940s, McDaids has been developing soft drinks to go with any occasion. Football Special was originally born to help celebrate the numerous successes of local Ramelton, Donegal football club, Swilly Rovers. While the company are very proud to be so synonymous with Donegal, they have in recent years spread their wings and followed the Irish diaspora abroad. This resulted in a distribution center being set up in Glasgow and later New York City, with fourth generation, Seamus McDaid, headed up this charge.
Company: O’Reilly Sports https://oreillysofficial.com/
Industry: High performance custom teamwear
The company supply sportswear, leisurewear, workwear and corporate clothing to clubs, businesses and organisations throughout Ireland, the UK and America. With on-site embroidery and printing facilities, O’Reillys have the ability to personalise items to include player initials and numbers, club crests, company logos and any specific design details. The company design bespoke pieces that are tailor-made to meet the particular needs of the client.
Company: FitPink https://fitpink.co.uk/
Industry: Clothing (activewear)