As many as 305 direct jobs and 35 start-ups could be created at a new RDI (research, development and innovation) hub being created as part of a €21m investment by Kerry fintech Fexco.

Over 125 Fexco staff will work in 37,000 sq ft of the building that is to house the company’s global R&D, Innovation and IT activities, and is aimed at driving Fexco’s continuing development as a leading global fintech company.

The west wing of the building has been donated by Fexco to become of the home of RDI Hub, and house 136 people on its programmes and in its co-location space. RDI Hub was established last year as a not for profit public-private partnership facilitating innovation and start-ups in the fintech and artificial intelligence (AI) sectors.

“The new building Fexco has constructed here in Killorglin is a symbol of the diversification of the economy of the region from its past to a new high-tech future”

“This new building signals our commitment to providing world-class innovative fintech solutions to a global audience as well as supporting our local community, through job creation and local investment,” said Denis McCarthy, CEO of Fexco.

“Since our foundation in Killorglin in 1981 we have been able to grow our business to employ over 2,500 people in 29 countries, whilst keeping our headquarters and the driving force of the business at home here in Kerry.”

From the fields of Kerry to Silicon Valley and back again

RDI Hub – which is a not-for-profit public private partnership- will create over 305 direct jobs by 2024, and in this initial period plans to support the establishment of over 35 high-tech funded start-ups. Its colocation with Fexco’s Research Development and Innovation Centre will add value for both parties through increased availability of specialised labour and knowledge spill overs. RDI Hub will provide training to over 1,300 participants and support 140 apprentices on its programmes in its first five years.

The building is dedicated to John McCarthy as a tribute to the Stanford University computer scientist. McCarthy was one of the founders of the discipline of artificial intelligence, and his father was born in Cromane, near Killorglin. In the late 1950s McCarthy invented LISP, which became the programming language of choice for AI applications. The renowned scientist’s two daughters Susan and Sarah, and his son Timothy were at today’s opening of the building to unveil a memorial plaque to their father.

The site on which the new building has been developed used to be the home of a manufacturing facility latterly owned by US firm Simpson Manufacturing, which closed in 2012 with the loss of 30 jobs. The Government has supported its transformation into a location that will support innovation, growth and entrepreneurship in the Southwest with €3.6m in funding for RDI Hub from Enterprise Ireland.

“The new building Fexco has constructed here in Killorglin is a symbol of the diversification of the economy of the region from its past to a new high-tech future,” said Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland.

“Fexco and RDI Hub will help strengthen the Southwest’s position as a globally connected financial services and ICT skills hotspot, providing high quality jobs and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Pictured above: Fexco CEO Denis McCarthy and Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 5 February, 2020

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