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"The Potential for Regionalising Internationally Traded Services"

This is one of the five major CISC projects financed under Cycle 3 of the PRTLI (Programme of Research in Third Level Institutions) managed by the Higher Education Authority under the Irish Government's National Development Plan.

The attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector and in internationally traded services generally has been a key component of Irish economic development strategy for more than 25 years. Despite the considerable improvement in Irish economic performance in recent years, the high level of dependence on foreign investment together with the relative weakness of the indigenous sector, has resulted in a number of continuing concerns. Among these are the lack of embeddedness of foreign capital in the local economy (O'Sullivan, 2000; Andreosso-O'Callaghan, 2000); the generally low level in the value chain of activities located in Ireland; the significant vulnerability of activities such as software localisation, logistics and telemarketing as a result of rapid technological change; and the fact that the key competencies of software development and marketing have tended not to be located in Ireland (O'Riain, 1999; O'Sullivan, 2000).The significant concentration of ICT and internationally traded service activities in the Dublin region in recent years has given rise to rapid economic growth and the resultant problems associated with overdevelopment such as scarcity of high technology skills, overheating of the housing market and over-congestion, resulting in a lowering of the quality of life. As a result of these developments there has been a greater commitment towards developing a regional development policy, and together with the fact that the Border Midland and West (BMW) regions are now the only parts of the country which will be entitled to EU structural funds, there are greater opportunities than previously for promoting a more balanced spread of investment. Efforts to regionalise ICT-related investment to date, however, have been modest. This study will explore the evolving spatial pattern of this investment in Ireland and seek to identify the barriers to a greater level of regionalisation.

Project Leader:

Professor Seamus Grimes


Dr Patrick Collins

Professor Seamus Grimes

Konstanze Hoechtberger

Dr Mark White

Technical Description
Task 1 To determine the extent to which Ireland as a peripheral European region has benefited from the restructuring of ICT-related investment
The rapidly growing interdisciplinary literature dealing with the emerging information economy in countries with some similarity to Ireland such as Scotland, Israel and Singapore will be explored in order to develop an explanatory model of ICT-related foreign direct investment. Among the specific issues to be explored will be the upgrading of ICT investment by MNCs and their embeddedness in the local economy, linkages with indigenous companies, and the acquisition of innovative SMEs by MNCs.

Task 2 Investigation of the processes of centralisation and decentralisation of ICT and internationally traded services investment

This task will map the evolving spatial pattern of ICT-related investment internationally traded services investment in Ireland. A comprehensive database of companies involved in internationally traded services will be constructed. In-depth interviews with significant actors in the policy area and with a sample of foreign-owned and indigenous ICT companies in software and internationally traded services will be carried out. The analysis will seek to explain the processes of centralisation and decentralisation of investment and the extent to which the investment in the Dublin region is qualitatively differentiated to that in other regions.

Publications, presentations etc, for this project:

Journal articles:

Collins, P. "Information Age Ireland: the attraction, the reality and never ending geography" European Planning Studies March 2007

Collins, P. and Pontikakis, D. (2006), �Innovation systems in the European periphery: the policy approaches of Ireland and Greece�, Science and Public Policy, Volume 33, Number 10, December, pp. 757-769

Grimes, S and White, M., The transition to internationally traded services in Ireland�s emergence as a �successful� European region, Environment and Planning A, 2005, 37, 2169-2188

Grimes, S. "Information Society Technology Programmes, Structural Funds and European Cohesion: The Case of Ireland, in Riukulehto, S. (Ed)," New Technologies and Regional Development. University of Helsinki Seinajoki Institute for Rural Research and Training, Finland, 2003, 15-32.

Grimes, S. (2005) How well are Europe�s rural businesses connected to the digital economy? European Planning Studies, 13(7), 1063-1081

Grimes, S. 2003a. "The digital economy challenge facing peripheral rural areas." Progress in Human Geography, 27:2, pp. 174-94.

Grimes, S. 2003b. "Ireland's emerging information economy: recent trends and future prospects." Regional Studies, 37:1, pp. 3-14.

Grimes, S. and Collins, P. "Building a Knowledge Economy in Ireland through European Research Networks." European Planning Studies, 2003, 11(4), pp. 395-413.

Grimes, S. and Collins, P. "The Role of Telematics in Integrating Ireland into Europe's Information Society." European Planning Studies, 2002, 10(8), pp. 971-86.

Grimes, S. and White, M. "Globalising the Periphery: Ireland's Emergence as a 'Successful' European Region'." Environment & Planning A, entitled 'In Celebration of the Ordinary Region', 2003.

Grimes, S., Ireland�s emergence as a centre for internationally traded services, Regional Studies, 2006, 40(9), 1041-1054

Hoechtberger, K. "The Significance of Network Relations for the Technology Region Bangalore - the Example of the Daimler-Chrysler Research Centre India." Entwichklungsprozesse und unternehmerische Entscheidungsdeterminanten in Technologieregionen - darggestellt anhand der High-Tech-Standorte Kalifornien (USA) und Bangalore (Indien), 2003, pp. 1.

Roper, S. and Grimes, S., Wireless Valley, Silicon Wadi and Digital Island � Helsinki, Tel Aviv and Dublin and the ICT global production network, Geoforum, 36, November 2005, 297-313

White, M. "Inward Investment and Firm Embeddedness: How Deeply Embedded Is Ireland's Multinational Software Sector." 2003.

White, M. "Inward Investment, Firm Embeddedness and Place." European Urban and Regional Studies, 2004, 11(3).

White, M. "Inward Investment, Firm Embeddedness and Place: An Assessment of Ireland's Multinational Software Sector." European Urban & Regional Studies, 2003.

White, M. "The Role of Dublins's International Financial Services Centre in Irish Regional Development." European Planning Studies, 2003.

White, M. 2003b. "Dublin's International Financial Services Centre come Onshore: Contributions to Economic Development and Questions of Sustainability." (submitted for publication)

White, M., 'Assessing the role of the International financial services centre in Irish regional development' European Planning Studies, 13(3), 2005, 387-405

Book chapters:

Grimes, S. "Information economy activity in Galway City and region. In McDonagh, J. (ed)." Economy, Society and Peripherality - experiences from the West region of Ireland, Arlen House, Galway, pp. 199-214.

Grimes, S., 'Geography in Ireland - a response to Rob Kitchin', Irish Geography, 2005, 135-137

White, M., Grimes, S., 'Placing Ireland's transition to a knowledge economy within a global context' In Cooke, P., and Piccaluga, A., (eds) Regional Economies as Knowledge Laboratories, Edward Algar Publishers, 2004, 161-180

CISC Working papers:

Hochtberger, K., Globalisation of Services: Trade, Foreign Direct Investment and Regional Development, CISC Working Paper No. 19, September 2005 Details >>

Hoechtberger, K.; White, M. and Grimes, S. 'The Evolution of Multinational Computer Services Affiliates in Ireland,' CISC Working Paper No. 13 Details >>

Hoechtberger, K.; Zademach, H.-M. and Grimes, S., : 'Aspiring Affiliates, Global Project Networks and Local Embeddedness: Evidence from Bangalore, India'. CISC Working Paper No. 7., Galway 2003 Details >>

White, M., 'Inward Investment, Firm Embeddedness and Place: An Assessment of Ireland's Multinational Software Sector', CISC Working Paper No. 1. Details >>

White, M.,'The Role of Dublin's International Financial Services Centre in Irish Regional Development', CISC Working Paper No. 3. Details >>

Reports, monographs, working papers etc:

White, M. "Dublin's International Financial Services Centre Come Onshore: Contributions to Economic Development and Questions of Sustainability." 2003.

White, M. "Inward Investment, Firm Embeddedness and Place: An Assessment of Ireland's Multinational Software Sector."

White, M. "The Role of Dublin's International Financial Services Centre in Irish Regional Development."

Conference papers/presentations:

Collins, P. "Regional Policy in the Information Age: differentiating information economy from information society at the regional level" Alternative Economic Spaces: New Political Stories, Hull (UK) July 11 - 13 2005.

Collins, P. and Grimes, S. "The evolution of transnational technology subsidiaries in Ireland" Regional Studies Association, NUI, Galway, 15 April 2005.

Collins, P. and Grimes, S. "The role of transnational subsidiaries in Ireland�s technology sector", Conference of Irish Geographers, NUI, Galway, 6-8 May 2005.

Collins, P. and Pontikakis, D. (2006), "Innovation Systems in the European Periphery: the case of Ireland and Greece", Regional Studies Association International Conference: Shaping EU Regional Policy: Economic Social and Political Pressures, Leuven, Belgium, June 8-9

Collins, P., 'Defining Ireland in the Information Age: Social and Economic Aspects of IT growth' Regional Science Association, Stratford-upon-Avon, August 16th 2005

Collins, P., 'The Information Society or Economy' Invited Presentation given to NIRSA, in NUI Maynooth, November 15th 2005

Collins, P., 'Which way is up? The value of foreign owned MNCs to Ireland' Regional Science Association, Stratford-upon-Avon, August 17th 2005

Grimes, S and M. White, �Globalising the periphery: Ireland�s emergence as a �successful� European region, Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers Annual Conference, London, 3-5 September, 2003

Grimes, S. "Information and Communication Technologies and Rural Peripherality," Changing Aspects: ICT Supported Development in Rural Areas, South West Regional Authority. Cork, 54-57.

Grimes, S., Ireland's emergence as a centre for internationally traded services Regional Science Association International (British & Irish Section) 34th Annual Conference, University College Cork, 18-20 August 2004

Grimes, S., Multiple paths up the value-chain? Corporate influence and services-led development in Ireland International Geographical Union Commission on the Dynamics of Economic Spaces 2004 Residential Conference, University of Birmingham, 10-13 August, 2004

Grimes, S., 'The role of internationally traded services in integrating Ireland into the global economy'. Invited Lecturer. Mary Immaculate College/University of Limerick, Department of Geograhy, 3rd December 2003

Grimes, S., Betwixt and Between: Ireland's role in servicing TNC markets in the EMEA region, XVth International RESER Conference, 22-24 September, 2005, Granada, Spain

Grimes, S., Invited to give keynote address on �The emerging information economy in Ireland� to 5th Conference on Regional Development in Seinajoki �New Technologies and Regional Development�, Seinajoki, Finland, November 8-9, 2002

Hoechtberger, K., The evolution of multinational computer services affiliates in Ireland. Centennial Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Philadelphia, 14-19 March 2004. Paper Presentation. International Conference.

Hoechtberger, K., Universities and Affiliate Evolution - Case Study Evidence from Ireland's Multinational Computer Services Sector. Conference of Irish Geographers, NUI Maynooth. 2004 Paper Presentation. National Conference.

Roper, S and Grimes, S., Local advantages and global presence: a comparative analysis of the ICT sectors in Ireland, Finland and Israel, European Regional Science Association 2003 Congress, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, August, 2003

White, M. and Grimes, S. "The Sustainability of Ireland's Knowledge Economy," Regional Studies Association International Conference 'Reinventing Regions in a Global Economy. Pisa, 2003.

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