25/09/2002

£500,000 e-investment in Armagh

In a move which should boost its international competitiveness and employment opportunities in the area, ICT Company e-blana enterprise group is investing around £500,000 in a new state-of-the-art software development facility in Armagh.

The investment is backed by Invest Northern Ireland to provide a resource centre for a new European focused partnership involving e-blana and international giant HP. It will support the development and promotion of traceability solutions and services for the livestock and primary food producing sectors.

Opening the new premises in the a:tek centre in Armagh today, Trade Minister Sir Reg Empey said: “e-blana is a significant player in the local ICT sector, and this investment, which brings together skills from north and south of the border will create a concentration of technology expertise and further enhance Northern Ireland’s standing in the software products and services sector. This investment is an example of the significant benefits that can be achieved by combining Northern Ireland's cutting edge software skills and its agricultural knowledge.”

The a:tek centre offers world-class telecommunications facilities and the Armagh location allows the company to retain the expertise of the 27 staff transferring from the company’s subsidiaries.

John Molloy, managing director of e-blana, added: “e-blana’s strategy is to build a framework of products based on existing and emerging technologies and in particular to further develop our capability in traceability solutions and services.

“This investment will allow us to increase efficiency and competitiveness. We have already established a significant partnership with HP who have recognised that here in Armagh we have the expertise and resources to support their requirements.”

e-blana is investing £364,000 in the new operation while Invest NI has supported the investment by offering the company an interest free repayable loan of £140,000.

Founded in 1988, e-blana currently employs a staff of 65 with offices in Dublin, Brussels and Armagh.

(MB)

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