ON Semiconductor has announced a key investment in its Limerick design centre
DUBLIN, Ireland – Microelectronics Week – Nov. 21, 2011 – Midas Ireland, an industry led organisation established to maximise the economic impact and employment potential of the microelectronics industry in Ireland, today announced the findings of a survey conducted amongst member firms which indicates the potential to create 2,000 additional jobs in Ireland over the next five years.
The microelectronics industry in Ireland is already a significant employer and major contributor to the economy, employing over 8,000 people in over 50 companies. Over 25 percent of the roles in the sector are in R&D.
The MIDAS survey, conducted amongst its member firms, was aimed at both identifying current employment opportunities and forecasting future opportunities based on the existing growth plans of companies operating in Ireland. The survey found that direct employment within the sector is expected to increase by a further 2,000 during the next five years, with the potential for even more job growth in non-technical support roles.
The findings of the survey were further endorsed today by an announcement from U.S. company ON Semiconductor, that it plans to invest approximately €13 million to expand its Design Centre in Limerick to enhance R&D capabilities for power efficient solutions for use in computing and consumer applications. The investment is expected to generate 69 new jobs. ON Semiconductor is a premier supplier of high performance silicon solutions for energy efficient electronics. The new jobs announced today, supported by IDA Ireland, are high value engineering roles and are expected to come on stream within the next four years.
Making the announcements at an event to mark the commencement of Microelectronics Week in Ireland, Minister Richard Bruton said: "The announcement that the microelectronics industry in Ireland can create 2,000 jobs over the next five years is great news and a welcome endorsement of government policy. I am determined to work hard to take advantage of this potential, by ensuring that the R&D infrastructure properly targeted and by ensuring that supports are in place for the indigenous start-up companies who will play a key role in creating these jobs. Creating an indigenous engine of economic growth and directing our R&D supports increasingly towards commercialisation are already key priorities of government.
"Today’s other announcement, that ON Semiconductor is to expand its research and development facility in Ireland with the creation of 69 high-end engineering jobs is a practical example of what can be achieved in this sector if we act now, as well as being a great boost for Limerick and Ireland. With the right actions this can be replicated across the country in the coming years, and I am determined to ensure that this can happen".
Chairman of MIDAS and Director of ON Semiconductor’s Design Centre in Limerick, John Blake, stated that in order for the sector to reach its employment potential there is a need for an increased focus on the provision of support for start up companies in the sector as well as enhanced integration between industry and the academic community to ensure that graduates have the skills required by the industry. He also highlighted the need for the Government to increase the level of Public R&D funding that it directs toward the microelectronic sector to support commercialisation and economic growth.
Commenting both on the opportunity in the sector and on the specifics of the ON Semiconductor announcement Mr Blake said: "The microelectronics sector is uniquely positioned to support Ireland’s economic recovery efforts. With the history of support and investment from the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) community there is a very strong tradition of excellence in the microelectronics sector in Ireland – this has subsequently spawned a vibrant start-up community which now includes indigenous companies that range from high potential start ups to companies that are now exporting and operating at a global level.
"High end start ups will be the engine of growth for Ireland’s economic renewal and the microelectronics sector is already well positioned to spearhead these efforts. MIDAS estimates that one third of the 2,000 jobs to be created in the next five years will come from the indigenous community.
"The team at ON Semiconductor is delighted to play its part in helping to ensure that the job creation potential is realised through this further investment in our R&D facility in Limerick. We’re grateful for the support of the Government and its agencies – particularly the IDA which has provided support through its Research, Development and Innovation programme. The Government’s recognition of the importance of R&D to the economy and its practical support of that position through its R&D tax credit policy is welcomed by all in the microelectronics sector, added Mr. Blake."
A podcast of John Blake’s interview on RTE’s Morning Ireland is at the following link http://www.rte.ie/radio1/podcast/podcast_morningireland.xml
Welcoming the announcement, Barry O’Leary, CEO, IDA Ireland said: "The findings from the MIDAS survey forecasting excellent growth in the micro-electronics sector in the coming years is very encouraging. The importance of international companies in the industry’s development is significant, with two thirds of new jobs expected to come from overseas firms. IDA Ireland will continue to work with these companies to ensure that opportunities for the sector are optimised.
"The fact that ON Semiconductor has chosen its Limerick operation in which to conduct such high value research is a testament to the skills and track record of the company’s Limerick team and endorsement of Ireland’s electronics industry," he added. "R&D expansions such as this are crucial because they embed existing operations and facilitate future investments and job creation."
For further information please contact:
Suzanne Sullivan, Q4PR, 01-4751444/086-3797291
Microelectronics Week – 21st – 25th November 2011
Microelectronics Week, organised by industry led group MIDAS, will highlight the contribution of the microelectronics sector to the Irish economy, explore the future employment potential of the industry and promote Ireland as a centre of excellence in microelectronics both to encourage more MNC investment and to assist indigenous Irish microelectronics companies.
Currently, the microelectronics sector is responsible for over 8,000 jobs and over €6bn in exports per annum. During the week, a variety of announcements will be made exploring the growing Irish industry and how this can be enhanced, projected employment growth within the next five years and current vacancies in the industry. Microelectronics week will also focus on the skills required for the industry and will seek to promote Ireland as a centre-of-excellence for semiconductor and microelectronics R&D.
The ­Microelectronics Industry Design Association (MIDAS) in Ireland is an industry led organization that defines and develops the future direction for the industry in Ireland. In addition to membership companies, MIDAS also includes the universities that teach Electronic Engineering and are active in Microelectronics Research, as well as the state agencies, IDA Ireland, which supports Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Ireland, and Enterprise Ireland, which supports the growth of the Irish indigenous sector.