US firm to create almost 100 jobs with ‘clean energy research’ centre

ALMOST 100 hi-tech jobs are set to be created in Cork city as part of a multi-million euro drive ministers have claimed will push Ireland to the top of Europe’s green energy agenda.

Major US aerospace and building multinational United Technologies (UTC) has confirmed plans to base its European energy and security research centre in the city.

The facility, which will lead to a €15 million investment and 87 jobs for PhD and advanced degree holders over the next four years, will be based at University College Cork’s Tyndall National Institute.

The move, supported by IDA Ireland, is based on energy and security research for UTC and will allow the US firm, which employs 200,000 staff, to establish a base in Europe.

Some 37 positions in the new firm will be made available over the next four years for highly qualified technical staff, with a further 50 due to made available by Government.

Energy Minister Eamon Ryan said the move was a key step towards Ireland’s economic recovery.

“It is a big deal. Out of small acorns you get big, big trees growing,” he said.

“That’s why we’re here today, to plant a seed.

“We see international companies coming here to set up their research base to learn how to solve some of the energy problems we all have, and that means we solve them here in Ireland, and then use that experience to sell it elsewhere.”

Enterprise Minister Batt O’Keeffe insisted the jobs’ announcement was a “significant development, not in the number of jobs it creates but in the opportunity it provides in terms of high-tech sustainable jobs into the future”.

UTC vice-president David Parekh confirmed the multinational is to become the founding member of the International Energy Research Centre which will also be based in Cork. He said the initiative – which will be jointly funded by Government and industry sources – will act as a catalyst to Ireland’s development as the European hub for “clean energy research”.

Cork Chamber chief executive Conor Healy welcomed the move, saying the creation of the International Energy Research Centre and the new research facility will play a key role in the local economy.

More than 6,000 people are on the live register in Cork, up 35% in just 12 months.

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