Cork is losing out on substantial foreign direct investment due to insufficient technology infrastructure, according to a leading technology expert.
The region needs a data centre that can cope with the demands of indigenous local and foreign multinational businesses if further foreign direct investment is to be secured.
The construction of such a centre would require significant state funding but could be supplemented by industry, according to it@cork chairman, Denis Collins.
“[With] cloud, you need to have servers, you need to have hardware and software working together. In order to have that, they need to be stored somewhere... if you build that [data centre], large companies will come and put their footprint [in Cork]. A lot more multinationals will come, they’ll spring up. Also more indigenous and more small and medium enterprises will come,” Mr Collins said at the Global Cork Economic Forum. Such investment would offer the possibility of branding the city as a cloud and data security capital, similar to Barcelona’s designation as the ‘mobile capital’ of Europe.
The creation of a city centre digital hub along the lines of New York’s Silicon Alley or East London’s Tech City was also proposed by Mr Collins at the event in Cork City Hall.
Albert Quay, beside City Hall, could be a viable location for the technology hub, he suggested.
The location could provide a link between the city, a redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Ballintemple and a proposed convention centre on Albert Quay — one of two rival proposals put forward for the development.
“It needs to be in the city centre... it would create a vibrant epicentre in the city that grows out,” said Mr Collins.
Mr Collins also suggested that RTÉ could be an anchor tenant for the development and said that the media institution was currently under-utilised in the city.
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