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The Warsaw Voice » Other » March 4, 2009
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Innovation from Ireland
March 4, 2009   
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The renowned ICT online news service SiliconRepublic.com has recently reported that Ireland can now claim its own Silicon Valley. And although it is referred to with a "mini" prefix, since its inception 10 years ago it has managed to attract significant seed funds into 53m-euros-worth of public- and private-sector R&D projects, creating employment for over 200 people in the southeast of Ireland. The organization behind the success is The Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). As SiliconRepublic.com reports "TSSG is currently active in around 45 research projects, with budgets ranging from 100,000 euros to 3.5m euros, and totaling over 50m euros from 1996-2009."

There are some very innovative spin-out companies of the research projects carried out by TSSG:

Catch-its solution enables radio stations to sell music online and this service has already been implemented in the UK.

Nubiq-provides a technology platform for publishing content across the mobile Web in an easy-to-use directory format that incorporates search, advertising, promotion and location information.

Mobanode-provides Bluetooth marketing solutions.

ZolkC-adds an interactive dimension to historical sites sightseeing by providing relevant content to GPS-enabled mobile devices.

None of the above companies are present in Poland yet as they are still in early stage of development but they certainly have the potential to go international.

One of the first Irish software companies to establish business in Poland in 1995 was Codec. The company offers strategic planning tools, performance management and business intelligence solutions to, among others, financial and telecom sectors. The mid-1990s was a little too early for business intelligence solutions because most Polish businesses at that time still had old, ineffective legal systems. However, this quickly changed and Codec found itself in a position to educate the market and implement sophisticated IT tools in top Polish banks and insurance companies.

Arantech is focused on the mobile telecom sector and offers customer experience management (CEM) solution. Arantech has successfully implemented the system in Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa. It enables the operator of the Era network to focus on each individual customer's experience: Were they successful in trying to use more advanced services such as MMS or internet access? If not, why not? Moreover, the operator can more effectively and in real time adapt its offer to clients' expectations and provide the highest quality customer service.

In the current challenging economic climate one of the ways to survive is to innovate, and small- and medium-sized hi-tech Irish companies are proving to be good in just that. At least two of them (InTime Media and Yougetitback) have already approached potential Polish clients and business partners.

InTime Media has developed a solution that gives mobile phone users a unique experience of real time participation in TV and radio shows. There is no need anymore to be at the recording studio of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to enjoy it and to be part of the show. Thanks to InTime Media anyone can answer the questions on her or his phone because they appear simultaneously on the TV screen AND the enabled mobile phone when the show is broadcast. This media innovation will soon become much more interactive and fun. In the UK market InTime Media's solution is hugely successful and has been used in such shows as the already mentioned Millionaires, Strictly Come Dancing and is currently a part of ITV's show Golden Balls.

Yougetitback is a provider of a recovery and protection of lost/stolen mobile phones and laptops. By installing Yougetitback's application on a laptop or mobile phone and registering online, the users can easily track missing devices and block access to their contents. Moreover, the system is robust and flexible to the extent that if your phone is stolen, you can remotely activate it to start playing the loud message "I am a stolen phone." If the phone has a camera, a user can remotely take a photo of the thief if he happens to face it… Yougetitback has already partnered with a Polish company to offer this service on the Polish market.

All of the companies have been or will be supported by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish state development agency focused on development of Irish companies internationally. Enterprise Ireland is happy to facilitate contacts and relationship building between Polish and Irish companies. Information on networking events and Irish companies operating in Poland can be found on www.enterprise-ireland.pl

Bartosz Siepracki
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