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Direct Flight Fosters Powerful Collaboration Between Silicon Valley and Ireland

New Aer Lingus Route between San Francisco and Dublin will Ease the Process for Silicon Valley Companies Looking to Establish and Maintain a European Presence

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IDA Ireland, Ireland's inward investment promotion agency responsible for foreign direct investment into the country, today announced the availability of a direct flight between San Francisco and Dublin, increasing collaboration among Silicon Valley companies and Europe. More than 179 companies from the West Coast of the United States have already made Ireland their European headquarters. Now, Aer Lingus will offer five direct flights a week, allowing Silicon Valley-based executives from IDA-client companies like Facebook to fly between offices without lengthy and expensive layovers.

"Dublin is a thriving hub for innovative, fast growing businesses, and we're delighted to see the city directly connected to Silicon Valley again," said Sonia Flynn, managing director, Facebook Ireland. "Ireland's economy can only benefit from connections to sources of investment and growth, so we're happy to have worked with the IDA to help reinstate this direct route. Since arriving in Ireland in 2009, Dublin has offered Facebook talent in abundance, and we currently have plans to expand our team at our new offices in Grand Canal Dock."

Strategically positioned between the U.S. and Europe, Ireland has become a hub for a number of critical global markets, including technology, pharmaceutical and financial services. Among the benefits of establishing a presence in Ireland are a strong talent pool coming out of this educational powerhouse, a business-friendly environment, a competitive market and a track record for success in supporting thriving companies and startups.

West Coast companies, including PayPal, Twitter, Apple, Intel, eBay, Qualcomm, Oracle, McAfee and Yahoo!, employ more than 36,000 people in Ireland. California companies alone account for 55 percent of all U.S. venture capital investment into Ireland, making the state a critical contributor to Ireland's innovativeness and entrepreneurship. For instance, Intel recently celebrated 25 years in Ireland with a significant contribution to the Irish economy, including preparing its Leixlip site for the next wave of technology, by investing $5 billion and employing 5,000 construction works on site.

"Approximately 40 percent of the foreign direct investment to Ireland from the U.S. comes from the Silicon Valley area," said Barry O'Leary, CEO, IDA Ireland. "Major technology companies, such as LinkedIn and Google, have their international headquarters in Dublin while their founding HQs are in the San Francisco area. What was needed was air access to bring the two operations centers closer. We now have that, which boosts the offering Ireland can present to the vibrant Silicon Valley community, making Ireland even more visible to companies looking to internationalize."

O'Leary will be traveling on the inaugural direct flight to San Francisco on April 2.

For more information on IDA Ireland, please visit: http://www.idaireland.com/.

Media Contact:
Rory Schaff
Account Supervisor
McGrath/Power Public Relations
1.408.727.0351
[email protected]

SOURCE IDA Ireland

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