£6m US investment brings 74 new jobs for digitial publishing firm

As part of her US visit Mrs Foster met some senior female executives working in global businesses, from left, Sharyl Givens of Proofpoint, Aeri Park of Almac, Dr Suzanne Saffie-Seebert, Sisal and Dr Rachel Gawley, AppAttic
As part of her US visit Mrs Foster met some senior female executives working in global businesses, from left, Sharyl Givens of Proofpoint, Aeri Park of Almac, Dr Suzanne Saffie-Seebert, Sisal and Dr Rachel Gawley, AppAttic

A £6 million investment by Stanford University spin-out firm HighWire Press is to create 74 new jobs in Belfast the First and Deputy First Ministers Arlene Foster and martin McGuinness have announced.

HighWire Press is the leading digital publishing platform, disseminating more than 3,000 journals, books and reference works.

It uses cutting-edge technologies like Angular, Hadoop, Drupal, Cassandra and AWS and the Belfast centre will house a dedicated technical team trained to specialise in these latest technologies.

The announcement marks a significant highlight in the Ministers’ US tour which ends today.

Visiting California, the pair met HighWire CEO Dan Filby in San Francisco having begun the investment trip on the east coast.

“It was a great pleasure to meet with Dan Filby and some of his team to announce this new investment by Silicon Valley based HighWire,” said Mrs Foster.

“The total investment as a result of this project, supported by Invest NI, equates to nearly £6m and is a great boost to Belfast’s reputation as number one in Europe for new software development projects.”

Mr McGuinness said the firm’s decision to invest in Northern Ireland signalled the potential of existing and future IT professionals.

“The 74 new jobs created will contribute £3 million in annual salaries to our local economy,” he said.

“With an average salary of £34,000 they will provide a wide range of opportunities for software developers, quality assurance, professional services and support engineers.

“This will offer staff the opportunity for training, including a 90 day programme covering everything from company culture to specific technical and systems training.”

The company plans to create the new jobs in Belfast by 2019.

“We are very excited about our investment in Belfast,” said Mr Filby.

“As well as providing us with a dedicated technology development centre it will also provide us with a focal point on which to build our continued presence in Europe.

“An outstanding, abundant talent pool was our highest priority when evaluating potential expansion locations.

“We are looking for talented and enthusiastic technical and service professionals that can help drive the development of our industry leading software solutions and deliver an outstanding customer experience.

“As an industry leader, HighWire is dedicated to the development of our technical community and is committed to providing opportunities to engage in this effort in Belfast. We will be hosting a Drupal Community Meet Up event at our Belfast offices next week as part of our commitment to develop a culture and support the creation of new talent in this area.”

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry said: “The Assured Skills support from my Department will contribute to this substantial new investment in Northern Ireland by HighWire.

“I met with HighWire at Stanford University in Palo Alto in January, and I am encouraged that the high quality skills and talent available in Northern Ireland is attracting innovative and rapidly expanding companies, such as HighWire.”

A highly skilled labour force, he said. was is essential to support business growth and expansion.

“The funding will ensure that HighWire has the support necessary for training initiatives to develop the skills required for these new roles.”

Invest NI has offered £739,220 towards job creation and implementation of a skills growth post-employment training program. DEL has contributed £222,000.