Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

The Celtic Tiger (Intel Inside): Silicon Valley Irish Turn Out For Intel Chairman Craig Barrett

Posted by Tom Foremski - March 27, 2008

The Silicon Valley Irish community honored Intel Chairman Craig Barrett Thursday evening and presented him with an award for innovation.

Craig Barrett from 2004 The Irish Technology Leaders Group, a semi-private group representing Silicon Valley's Irish entrepneurs and the Irish government, held an awards ceremony at Stanford University. Michael Martin, Irish Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment, read out a letter from the Irish president and praised Mr Barrett for helping to create Ireland's booming economy - the Celtic Tiger.

Intel was one of the first US companies to invest heavily in Ireland, 15 years ago, building several multibillion dollar chip fabs. The Irish government estimates that Intel has invested more than $7bn in Ireland and paid more than $2bn in healthcare and social services. In addition to thousands of Intel jobs, Intel created about 9,000 jobs in support services.

Intel's lead was followed by many other US tech firms. The attraction was Irelands' entry into the European Union providing European market access for US companies for lower costs. Ireland's highly educated workforce, common language, a low cost of living, combined with a low flat tax rate--made Ireland hard to resist for many US companies.

A tide of Irish tech...

Ireland has now transitioned from poorest to second richest (after Luxembourg) in European wages. Mr Barrett commented that Dublin, the Irish capital, now has higher real estate prices than Palo Alto.

Now it is Irish companies that are coming to the US. More than 80 Irish companies have opened operations in the US, many in Silicon Valley in tech and in pharma. 2007 marked the first time Irish companies created more jobs in the US than US companies created in Ireland.

More details and information here:

Irish Technology Leadership Group

The ITLG is a group of Irish and Irish American senior executives based in Silicon Valley, active in the global technology industry, committed to ensuring that Ireland remains a strategic area of investment and opportunity for US technology companies, and who are keen to support the growth and development of Irish based technology companies.

Heritage Foundation: How Ireland Became the Celtic Tiger

As a result of sustained efforts over many years, the past of declining population, poor living standards, and economic stagnation has been left behind. Ireland now has the second highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita within the European Union (after Luxembourg), one-third higher than the EU-25[1] average, and has achieved exceptional growth.

...One of the biggest successes of the Irish economy has been new job creation. From 1990 to 2005, employment soared from 1.1 million to 1.9 million. Economic growth, more jobs, and rising living standards meant the resolution of the emigration problem, which had bedeviled Ireland for generations.

The population increased by almost 15 percent from 1996 to 2005 in a striking reversal of previous trends. In one year alone (July 2004–June 2005), employment increased by 5 percent. Ireland is now seen as the land of opportunity by many workers from the 10 newest EU member states. Its unemployment rate of 4.4 percent is less than half the EU average. Public budgets are in balance, and foreign investment was equivalent to 17 percent of GDP in 2003.

We know what the Irish drink here is what they eat...

Get in a Stew and Make it Irish by Sheila Flynn at AP

Meat, potatoes and vegetables. It's the quintessential trio for the quintessential Irish dish - Irish stew. But don't be fooled by the one-pot simplicity; this hearty stew can pack astounding depth of flavor.
For the best flavor, the meat should be browned in lamb fat before stewing, which Allen says imparts more flavor than cooking oil. The easiest way to get this fat is to trim it from the meat and render it in the pan.

For additional flavor, the vegetables also do best when quickly browned in the lamb fat before stewing.

While the browning is done on the stove, most of the cooking is done in the oven, which allows for a slower cooking over about 1 1/2 hours, leaving the meat "virtually falling off the bone."

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