Sea­gate to cre­ate Derry re­search fa­cil­ity

Tech­nol­ogy company to invest ¤43m in re­search and de­vel­op­ment project Three and Tech Mahin­dra to cre­ate 130 jobs in Water­ford cus­tomer ser­vices cen­tre

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - BUSINESS NEWS - FRANCESS McDON­NELL and CHARLIE TAY­LOR

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

The news comes as Three Ire­land and its part­ner, the In­dian firm Tech Mahin­dra, an­nounced they are to cre­ate 130 jobs in a new cus­tomer ser­vice cen­tre in Water­ford.

Sea­gate’s project will cen­tre on cut­ting-edge, heat-as­sisted mag­netic record­ing tech­nol­ogy and re­quires a team of 178 peo­ple.

Many of the project team al­ready work for Sea­gate in Derry, which em­ploys more than 1,400 peo­ple, but the company plans to re­cruit an 35 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, an ad­vanced ma­te­ri­als re­search and de­vel­op­ment hub set up as a joint ven­ture be­tween the univer­sity and the US company.

Stor­age ca­pac­ity de­mand

He said cus­tomer de­mand was driv­ing the Derry project: “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.”

North­ern Ire­land First Min­is­ter Peter Robin­son and Deputy First Min­is­ter Martin McGuin­ness de­scribed the news as a ma­jor in­vest­ment boost for the north­west.

Mr Robin­son said: “Sea­gate has made an enor­mous con­tri­bu­tion to the North­ern Ire­land econ­omy over the last 21 years and this in­vest­ment of almost £35 mil­lion 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 ac- count­ing 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.”

Mr McGuin­ness said the project un­der­lined the US company’s com­mit­ment to the city.

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

In Water­ford, Three and Tech Mahin­dra an­nounced plans to cre­ate 130 jobs with a new cus­tomer ser­vice cen­tre that is ex­pected to be­come op­er­a­tional in early 2015.

Re­cruit­ment for the roles is al­ready un­der way. Three said the 56 for­mer em­ploy­ees of Rigney Dol­phin, which pre­vi­ously sup­plied cus­tomer con­tact ser­vices to the mo­bile op­er­a­tor in Water­ford, will be given the op­por­tu­nity to ap­ply for the new po­si­tions.

Tech Mahin­dra is a $3.2 bil­lion company that pro­vides cus­tomer care ser­vices for 632 com­pa­nies across the world, in­clud­ing Three. The firm, which is part of the Mahin­dra Group, em­ploys 92,000 peo­ple.

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