Cloud computing giant EMC opts for Cork as centre of European research

Cork is set to be the heart of EMC’s European operations focusing on research and will see it increasing its headcount, according to the company’s managing director for Europe Middle East Africa, Bob Savage.

Cloud computing giant EMC opts for Cork as centre of European research

The cloud computing giant with a market capitalisation of more than $50bn (€36.8bn) is looking at its Cork facility in Ballincollig, which employs 3,000 people, to become a centre for European research.

Mr Savage said that, due to the quality of people and the research tax regime in Ireland, the company would definitely be expanding in Cork again in the near future.

“There is no question but that we will be looking at more business for Cork, based on what value we offer. Cork will more or less be rebranded as the EU centre. With our 26 years (in Cork) behind us, strong links to the community and government, we will be extending those out to the EU. We consider the market for our talent to be not just Cork or Ireland, but Europe, 500m people,” he said.

EMC is looking at doing a number of research projects that will qualify for some of the €79bn of Horizon 2020 European funding and for IDA tax credits. The company will be collaborating with other industry partners to look at cloud storage, cloud security and compliance.

Mr Savage said that the research and development tax regime in Ireland has made it a natural choice for EMC to conduct their research here.

“If you do a piece of research and development work that qualifies for IDA support and tax credits, it is effectively 50c back on every dollar, so it is very attractive. That is one element of it. The other element is the talent that we have here now, for instance we are collaborating with Israel a lot more, they have been the great innovators, we have a great relationship with the Israel site so that is helping us, but tax credit is part of it.”

Last year EMC announced it would create 200 jobs in Cork and already these have been filled. As the company looks to ramp up its Irish research it will need to start recruiting again.

“We announced 200 jobs last year; we practically have them full. We are looking at other prospects, I won’t say anything now, but certainly enriching the research element of what we do is a key part of our strategy and you only reach that if you add value back to EMC, so that is where Horizon 2020 comes in,” he said.

Mr Savage disagrees with the noise from the tech sector that the correct skills are not available in Ireland. He said that a skills shortage is just a sign of a failure to plan on behalf of some companies.

“If you are moving and transforming at a tremendous pace, like cloud is doing, you must invest and prepare for the future by making sure that you collaborate with universities like UCC and CIT to provide the programme to transform those skills. We have great people and we are a great place to work,” he said.

EMC has developed a masters in cloud computing along with CIT that is now delivered remotely around the world and has been acknowledged by Forbes as the key cloud degree globally.

“It’s fantastic for CIT and it will keep our people’s skills current,” said Mr savage.

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