IBM Collaborates With Irish Government to Help Local Business Innovate and Grow

New IBM Innovation Centre in Dublin Will Provide Technology and Expertise to Irish Start Ups

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Dublin, Ireland - 27 Sep 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a number of initiatives intended to support entrepreneurship in Ireland and across Europe. The announcement is in collaboration with the Irish Development Authority (IDA), the state agency for attracting and growing foreign multinational businesses and Enterprise Ireland, the state agency focused on transforming Irish industry.

Marking its 50th year in Ireland, the announcement includes; the launch of a Dublin-based European Venture Capital Centre, an Innovation Centre for Ireland and a strategic relationship with Enterprise Ireland.

These initiatives highlight Ireland's position as an integral part of IBM's strategy to operate as a globally integrated company. Ireland offers a well established ecosystem which sees strong collaboration between the venture capital community, entrepreneurs, academia and government.

Claudia Fan Munce, Managing Director, IBM Venture Capital Group, said, "IBM is delighted to be collaborating with Enterprise Ireland and the venture capital community to assist in the development of Irish technology companies. This strategic relationship will strengthen the innovative culture and capability of Irish firms and further embed IBM's operations in Ireland."

Minister Martin made today's announcement stating, "The selection of Ireland as the location for IBM's European Venture Capital Centre is a further endorsement of the excellent long standing relationship between IBM and Ireland. Just two months ago, I announced that IBM Corporation will invest significantly in its Technology Campus in Mulhuddart to grow its Dublin-based software development operations, establish a business incubation centre and enhance its supply chain capacity with support from IDA Ireland."

He continued, "We welcome the new IBM Innovation Centre to Dublin which will act a catalyst for innovation, new company creation and growth. This project illustrates how IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, in collaboration with globally integrated businesses like IBM, can create opportunities for our strong base of indigenous companies and assist highly valued investors such as IBM to achieve their business goals."

Niall Carroll, Director of the Irish Venture Capital Association, added, "We are very pleased with IBM's ongoing commitment to fostering an economic climate conducive to the growth and development of Ireland's enterprise economy.

"The launch of European Venture Capital Centre in Dublin will help encourage entrepreneurship in Ireland. The VC industry continues to be the driving force in the development of a knowledge-based economy in Ireland and this effort will further help drive VC investment into innovative Irish Start Ups."

IBM European Venture Capital Centre

The Dublin-based European Venture Capital Centre (EVCC) will build stronger ties with the venture capital community across Europe, allowing it to gain insights into emerging technologies, exchange market trend info, and accelerate innovation.

The EVCC will give Start Ups access to; IBM thought leadership, 'Hot Topic' technology roundtables, an IP access programme and exposure to IBM's relationship with governments, universities, business partners and clients.

It will provide an entry-point to IBM's Business Partnerworld and Research network. This will help Irish businesses establish stronger ties with the European venture capital community, accelerating innovation by providing insights into emerging technologies and exchange market trend information.

The centre will provide a European hub that will give start-ups increased visibility across the VC community and increase potential investment opportunities.

IBM's Venture Capital Group is focused on building win-win business partnerships with VC backed start-ups. To date such relationship building has led to rapid growth of these companies within IBM's ecosystem.

Innovation Centre

One of 32 IBM Innovation Centres worldwide, the Dublin facility will help local software developers and companies leverage tailored technology support to build and test advanced and emerging technologies. IBM will also offer start-ups assistance in developing skills and delivering solutions through education, workshops, and seminars as well as on-site and remote access to design, architect, scalability testing, porting and enablement services.

The Innovation Centre will also channel start-up businesses to IBM's recently announced centres of competencies in the areas of SAP and Service Orientated Architecture (SOA) which is a fast growing technology approach to transform companies' software applications into reusable services that improve business operations.

Strategic Relationship with Enterprise Ireland

To enable start-up and growth of local Irish enterprises, IBM is to create a strategic relationship with Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government agency tasked with supporting and growing indigenous business in Ireland.

IBM's collaboration with Enterprise Ireland will enable Enterprise Ireland supported companies to; engage in IP licensing with IBM, utilise the Dublin Innovation Centre facilities, access IBM's thought leadership, and provide business and technology mentoring. This collaboration will help support Enterprise Ireland's own VC growth strategy which recently saw the agency announce a EUR 175 million investment into the VC sector in Ireland. Enterprise Ireland predicts that, together with private sector investment, this EUR 175m will generate EUR 1bn of total venture capital investment in Ireland.

Today's announcement is a follow on to an announcement made earlier this year which saw the company announce a major investment in its operations in Ireland over the next three years, focusing primarily on software development. The expansion underscores IBM's commitment to work with government, institutions and businesses in Ireland to secure robust economic growth based on a culture of collaborative innovation.

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