An initiative to establish a national cyber security cluster in Ireland has been announced today. Facilitated by Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), the national cluster will be called Cyber Ireland and is supported by IDA Ireland. It will provide a collective voice to represent the needs of the cyber security sector across the country and will address key challenges including: skills needs, research and the development of a national community which connects industry, academia and government.
CIT, which has best practice cluster development expertise and a strong core of in-depth cyber security expertise among its faculty, will drive the development of the national cluster.
Welcoming the initiative Minister Richard Bruton, Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment whose department holds responsibility for Ireland’s national cyber security strategy said, “Today’s announcement of a National Cyber Security Cluster is a really exciting opportunity. Supported by Cork IT and backed by government funding, this initiative will greatly advance the sector in Ireland, by facilitating greater collaboration between the companies involved. There are already more than 6,000 people employed in Cyber Security here, but there is considerable potential for further growth, particularly with the potential of areas like cloud computing.
“Cyber Ireland will also provide a collective voice for the sector and will provide an avenue for challenges facing the sector to be addressed. Overall the establishment of the cluster will result in a better cyber security response for the State and better outcomes for the companies involved.”
Dr Eoin Byrne, Senior Researcher in CIT who will lead and manage development of the cluster said, “For Cyber Ireland to be successful, it needs to be industry-driven, supported by third level education and Government. Without the co-operation of these three pillars, the cluster cannot reach its full potential. Industry must be at the core of the cluster, which needs to be championed by passionate and dedicated leaders. Academia is also critical in addressing the skills and training needs of industry. We look forward to engaging with industry and academia across Ireland in the coming months to develop a programme that is in line with international best practice in cluster development based on key learnings from successful cluster initiatives elsewhere in Europe.”
Martin Shanahan, CEO IDA Ireland said, “Ireland has become a significant base of international technology and cyber security companies thanks to a growing, well-educated and flexible workforce with a rapidly increasing graduate output. The cyber security industry in Ireland is growing at an unprecedented rate and we believe Ireland is uniquely placed to benefit from increased global investment to position itself as a world class cyber security cluster.”
Cyber Ireland is also supported by a number of leading cyber security and technology firms in Ireland, who called for the establishment of a cluster to represent industry needs and address key challenges, including Johnson Controls International, Dell EMC, IBM, McAfee, McKesson and Trend Micro.
Johnson Controls International is a global diversified technology and multi-industrial leader, serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries, Donal Sullivan, VP & General Manager, sees the importance of Cyber Ireland and the benefits of the cluster for industry, “We are seeing a profound transformation in our digital lives and environment. The security of connected objects and cyber-physical systems, advances brought about by artificial intelligence or data-centric security are three examples of major challenges and opportunities. To ensure the continued growth, sustainability and international competitiveness of cyber security firms in Ireland, there is a need to support industry and address certain challenges. Cyber Ireland provides a unique opportunity to co-ordinate the many organizations involved in cyber security in Ireland and position the country as a global leader.”
Minister Heather Humphreys TD, Department for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation said “The announcement of Cyber Ireland and the development of a national cyber security cluster is a significant step forward for the industry in Ireland. This exciting new initiative brings together key stakeholders from both industry and academia and will provide a clear platform for the industry to address key challenges. The cluster will help to build on our existing strengths in the technology sector and enable Ireland to become a global leader in cybersecurity research, development and training. I am certain that this innovative collaboration will only serve to keep Ireland right at the forefront of this fast-growing and strategically important sector.”