IDA Ireland is an autonomous agency set up by statute, with a mandate to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into this country and to support new and existing FDI operations so as to maximise the related industrial employment, output, exports, and economy expenditures including wages and corporation tax contributions.
The management and location of IDA Ireland staff is a day to day operational matter for the Agency and not one in which I have a function. I am informed by the Agency that there are 5 IDA personnel based in Waterford with client facing and regional responsibilities. These staff work with the existing client base in the South East Region to ensure their ongoing sustainability and growth and facilitate new name client itineraries into the Region. They also work with key stakeholders to ensure that the Region has a competitive and ever improving offering.
The success of this strategy is borne out by the two significant investments won for Waterford during 2013. In February 2013, Sanofi announced plans to invest €44m in Genzyme's biotechnology campus in Waterford. This investment will increase the site's diversity of products and comes on top of a €150m investment a little more than a year previously. The investment ensures that the Waterford facility, which currently employs approximately 500 people, can produce the company's latest products and provides an indication of the Waterford site's value to the company. In March 2013, Nypro Healthcare announced plans to establish an additional state of the art medical devices facility in Waterford. This will result in the creation of over 200 new high quality jobs in the coming years.
Furthermore, in order to improve the offering in the Region to win new business, IDA Ireland has signed contracts for the construction of an advanced manufacturing facility in Waterford. This facility, which will be 2,348 sq metres in area, will be located in the IDA Technology Park at Butlerstown and will be completed by year end. The building design has taken account of the flexibility requirement of potential end users by creating a front of house open plan area with an open plan production area to the rear offering large scale flexibility for either large scale open plan use or the potential to subdivide or introduce cellular spaces.
In addition IDA Ireland has rolled out a dedicated digital marketing initiative for inward investment focusing on the South East Region and Waterford (Connect and Invest Waterford). Initiatives such as this can enhance the marketability of the location for investment at a very early stage in a prospective client's decision-making process.
IDA Ireland remains a key supporter of the South East Employment Action Plan which brings together a number of stakeholders in addressing the persistent employment challenges faced in the South East Region.