How would you describe Galway to someone who has never been here before?
Galway has been described as the cultural gateway, the gateway to the west, the city of festivals, and so on. My favourite way of describing Galway is as the city of ‘water and light’. Galway has a lake, a river, canals, a port, a sea shore and a bay – it is quite unique. It is an innovative location flowing with arts, culture and creativity.
Why did your business choose Galway as a location?
HP originally started as Digital Equipment Corporation in 1971 in Galway, one of the first high-tech computer companies to locate in Ireland. It was later taken over by Compaq Computers and subsequently by HP. Therefore, there is a tradition here in Galway of over 40 years of information technology, which during that time has developed into a large cluster. Today, the Information Technology Association of Galway (ITAG) has over 80 members involved in software and I.T.
The main reasons originally why our business chose Galway were its location and its quality of life. The educational facilities in Galway also appealed and this continues to be important to large companies currently investing in Galway. These decision making criteria still remain important today for prospective companies interested in locating in Galway.
They always consider the quality of life it offers, the availability of an educated and expert workforce and the support industries and services in the region. Now in addition to the Information Technology cluster of indigenous and foreign direct investment companies there is a Biomedical cluster which has also emerged due to what Galway has to offer.
How does the City of Galway, as a whole, support and nurture business?
What is attractive about Galway is not only the quality of its workforce and the education and talent that is available but its unique “ethos”. Galway is an innovative location, not only in the areas of arts and culture but also in the high-tech sectors. For example there are 3 main incubation spaces in Galway: The Galway Technology Centre, GMIT, and NUIG.
They are continuously supporting innovative ideas, business start-up’s and offer special incubation places from one person to many people. Galway is a very open place and encourages networking between all sizes and segments of business and industry. This is facilitated by the Galway Chamber of Commerce which plays a vital role in supporting and promoting this networking, for example the Chamber holds a meeting once a month called the BAH (Business After Hours) – which encourages communication and networking between companies ranging from SME’s to large multinationals.