ANN CAHILL: IT bosses to report on challenges to business.

SENIOR management from some of the world’s top IT companies are drawing up a report for Research and Innovation Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.

The Commissioner met representatives from Google, Microsoft, Bell, Intel, Hewlett Packard, Boston Scientific and the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, all with operations in Ireland.

John Herlihy, Irish-based Google vice-president, said after the meeting that they have committed to identify the challenges to setting up and expanding business in the EU.

“We hope to identify the key issues with a view to creating jobs and make recommendations based on our experiences,” he said.

As head of Google ads for most of the world, including Europe, Cork- born Mr Herlihy, who grew up in Limerick, believes the EU has much to learn from the US.

“There is a venture-type approach and tolerance of failure in the US and they are incredibly quick in buying in the best talent in the world,” he said.

He would like to see universities become centres of excellence and wealth-creation. Eastern Europe is recognised as turning out excellent mathematicians but Europe needs to adapt US ideas to help them become entrepreneurs, he added.

For instance, Romania produces some of the best technical people in the world, but the EU should remove obstacles to allow them to move and be employed in other parts of Europe, he said.


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