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Consulting giant Accenture announced in detail yesterday its plan to open a "research, development and innovation center" in economically-depressed Dublin. The firm predicts that the center will result in roughly 100 new hires in the country by 2014, adding to the 1,300 Accenture consultants on Irish soil today. "Many of the 100 new roles created will be focused specifically on research and development," said Mark Ryan, Accenture's managing director in Ireland, adding "we are currently recruiting both graduates and experienced hires with analytical and statistics experience ranging from PhD level to graduate level." Research at the site will focus primarily on predictive analytics, a cornerstone of Accenture's client delivery model.
The Irish government was quick to hail the victory—albeit minor—for the eurozone nation, cash-poor and staggered by 14.1 percent unemployment. The head of IDA Ireland, the country's internal investment promotion agency, noted the integral role foreign tech investment will play in digging the country out of its current economic hole. "The Accenture Analytics Innovation Center positions Ireland at the forefront of analytics solution development and delivery for Accenture clients worldwide," said Barry O'Leary, touting his agency's "Horizon 2020" economic redevelopment plan. "Ireland is establishing a growing reputation as a leading global hub for analytics with a number of leading companies establishing centers of excellence here in recent years."
It's a nice talking point for the job-starved Irish, but the fact remains: it'll take more than a reputation—and a lot more centers of excellence—to get Ireland back on its feet again.
- Sam Reynolds
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