Ryan visits Silicon Valley in a bid to forge greater green tech links

ENERGY, Communications and Natural Resources Minister Eamon Ryan will today aim to forge links with green technology firms in Silicon Valley in the US.

The Green TD is in the San Francisco area as part of the Government’s overseasschedule of St Patrick’s Day visits to promote Ireland.

Last week Mr Ryan said up to 10,000 green collar jobs could be created inIreland with increased investment in sectors such as renewable energy and homeinsulation.

The TD will hold talks today in San Francisco with Biolink USA-Ireland — atransatlantic forum for Irish and US scientists and engineers to share ideas andexpertise.

Biolink vice-chair Kate Gunning said the economic downturn created vast market opportunities for green tech firms in Ireland and the US.

“A whole new world has opened up for sectors such as biotech, nanotech andcleantech — and the potential for Ireland and the US to co-operate is huge,”she said.

Business contacts established through Biolink since 2003 have resulted infunding, business development, recruitment and increased sales for Irish and US companies.

“We will discuss with Minister Ryan recent achievements in the energy sector in Ireland as well as new policy initiatives,” Ms Gunning said.

Mr Ryan will also attend the St Patrick’s Day parade in San Francisco onSaturday as well as meeting local Irish immigration, cultural and sportingbodies.

The minister will also meet with San Francisco’s mayor Gavin Newsom and local Green Party members leading the city’s Taskforce for Energy.

Travelling onto New York early next week, Mr Ryan will attend the St Patrick’sDay Parade and hold talks with mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Innovation Minister Dr Jimmy Devins is continuing a five-day visit to Chicago where he will meet with senior representatives of healthcare giant Abbott which employs 3,600 people in Ireland.

Talks are also planned with Hollister Incorporated which has 320 workers in itsBallina plant.

The minister said: “While there are nearly 500 US companies in Ireland,employing some 95,000 people, there are almost 200 indigenous Irish firms in theUS employing some 80,000 people.”

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