Topping Out Ceremony at NI Science Park site

Press Release
03 April2014
North West Regional Science Park Secures International Software Firm as Anchor Tenant


The EU INTERREG IVA-funded Northern Ireland Science Park has announced 8over8® as the first anchor tenant at its new £12m North West Regional Science Park in Derry~Londonderry.

At a “topping out” ceremony at the Fort George site today (Thursday 3 April) marking completion of the roof and glazing of the new 50,000 sq ft premises, home-grown Derry software phenomenon 8over8 announced it is set to make the state-of-the-art Regional Science Park its new headquarters this summer.

A global business, headquartered in Derry and operating out of regional offices in North America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East, 8over8 has experienced rapid growth globally and has been on the look-out for a new Derry base having outgrown its current premises at the University of Ulster Magee campus, where it was established in 2000. 8over8’s new space will account for almost a third of the Regional Science Park facility, and will be home to two-thirds of its global team.

“Derry-based software engineering skills and knowledge are at the core of our business, making the new premises at Fort George the ideal base for us as we continue to grow,” says Clare Colhoun CEO, 8over8. “We saw a niche in 2000, when we set up with a team of just 15. With an ever-increasing international demand for our software, our business plan calls for more than 20 additional hires across the company this year, and ten of these are expected to be in Derry.”

8over8’s core product, 8over8® PROCON™, is a highly configurable software solution enabling operators of large capital projects in oil & gas, mining, and large infrastructure projects to better manage capital deployment and contract risk. It drives commercial discipline into major capital projects saving owners hundreds of millions of dollars. Today PROCON™ is used in sixty percent of the oil supermajors and this includes six out of the top ten most capital-intensive projects in the global oil and gas market. One of its most notable successes is Shell’s floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) platform in Western Australia, a project costing in excess of $10bn.


“We are thrilled to have a company of this calibre as our first major tenant in the North West,” says Frank Hewitt, Chair of the NI Science Park. “8over8 is developing innovative, high-tech solutions that are making an impact across the world. We believe there are lots more of these types of companies in Northern Ireland just waiting to find their feet. The concept behind a science park model is much more than just bricks and mortar: it’s about the people, the sharing of a space, the exchange of ideas, experience and advice. This is what allows a one- or two-person start-up to grow to multi-national success stories. 8over8 provides a very welcome cornerstone and example to other tenants joining them in these new surroundings later this summer.”

Welcoming the new landmark tenant and commenting on the progress of the cross-border project, Paul Boylan, Manager of the INTERREG IVA Programme at the Special EU Programmes Body, said:

“We are delighted to see that construction of the new facility has developed at such a rapid pace. The project was awarded approximately £12 million from the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme and this high level of support is a testament to our belief in its ability to become a real economic driver for the North West. In attracting such a high calibre anchor tenant, the Science Park is already demonstrating its ability to stimulate business growth that will strengthen the knowledge-based economy and lead to increased employment opportunities.”

The Northern Ireland Science Park’s network of links with the Universities and wider science and technology institutions, worldwide, will bring this added value directly to the North West Regional Science Park. The Fort George facility is also an important lynchpin in a wider cross-border project in partnership with the North West Region Cross Border Group (NWRCBG) and Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT).

Alderman Michael Coyle, Chair of the NWRCBG welcomed the Fort George milestone, saying “This brings us an exciting step closer to completion here in Derry and we are now looking forward to seeing work commencing on a 20,000 sq ft development at the CoLab in Letterkenny. This will come on stream at the end of next year and will further extend the impact of the Northern Ireland Science Park’s work into the cross-border region.”

Mervyn Watley, Director of Corporate Property of the Northern Ireland Science Park, adds, “We are currently in negotiations with several other interested tenants. The facilities available here will be state of the art, as befit a centre of excellence for cutting edge science and technology development. We are also in early discussions with a company that would run a mini data centre at the Regional Science Park premises. This would not only be great news for the other tenants here, but also for the wider business community seeking local high speed cloud-sharing.”

For tenancy enquiries contact Mervyn Watley on 02890 737800 or visit www.nisp.co.uk/north-west

ENDS

NWRSP/NISP Media Contact:
Vicki Caddy or Sarah Monahan at ASG PR on 02890 802000; Vcaddy@asgireland.com

8over8 Media Contact:
Rosie Williams
Rosie.williams@aspectuspr.com
+44 (0) 20 7092 8127