Innovative Technology Launched on Gulf Mission

Mar 01, 2006

Dundonald company Qwizdom (UK) will launch an innovative technology product for school classrooms during the Invest Northern Ireland business mission to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Dubai from 27 February - 6 March.

The small company, taking part in its first Invest NI mission to the Middle East, will introduce the Qwizdom student response system, a new interactive learning tool that uses handheld remotes and RF technology to actively engage students in the learning process. It also enables teachers to monitor student progress and understanding and eliminates paper based marking through instant reporting and grading.

Qwizdom is part of a 10-strong delegation from Northern Ireland visiting the three key markets in the Arabian Gulf.

Gavin Woods, Qwizdom’s Territory Manager, commenting on the mission, said: “Our participation in this mission is an integral part of our global marketing drive to build sales of systems in target sectors such as education by expanding our network of resellers. We have already developed a strong base in the UK, where over 1,000 schools are currently using the technology, and have active resellers in Asia Pacific markets, such as Australia.

“The mission to the Gulf will enable us to present our products to potential resellers in the region. Our products have been recognised with several industry awards, including short-listing in multiple categories for the prestigious BETT awards for the last two years. These awards acknowledge Qwizdom’s exemplar use of information technology for education.

Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director, said: “The Gulf region is an ideal marketplace for Qwizdom because of the huge investment by governments in nations such as Dubai in the latest hardware and software technology. They have young populations and are committed to programmes that will enable them to develop IT skills and experience. This presents a significant opportunity for Northern Ireland companies offering expert services and innovative equipment for this sector.

“We recognised this some years ago when we decided to set up a base in Dubai’s visionary Internet City to enable Northern Ireland technology-led companies to explore and exploit the business opportunities developing rapidly from this commitment. Our neighbours now in Dubai Internet City include Microsoft, Oracle and IBM,” he added.

Formed in 2003, Qwizdom (UK) is the UK representative of Qwizdom, a US company, based at Puyallup in Washington State, who developed the interactive technology. The Northern Ireland operation is responsible for marketing the technology, software development and providing technical support and online training to customers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. The company currently employs 15 people – 11 in Northern Ireland and four in its sales operation in Great Britain.

The UK company was set up by Paul Brown, the current Managing Director, following a visit to a major education industry show in the US. Mr Brown has a background in the marketing and sales of educational software.

Other companies taking part in the business mission to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Dubai are:

8Over8, Londonderry; a software developer for the oil and gas industries

Audio Processing Technology, Belfast, a pioneer of digital audio for broadcasting, telecommunications and movies;

Biznet Solutions, Belfast, a specialist in IT systems for oil and gas;

Dale Farm, Belfast, dairy products;

Dunlop Design, Lisburn, a developer of water recycling systems;

Liddell Linens, Lurgan, a weaver of high quality linen and other textiles for hotels, airlines and upmarket retailers;

Mivan, Antrim, fast-track construction techniques;

PWS, Newry, a manufacturer of solar powered road signs;

Quicktag, Ballycastle, a supplier of identity tags for farm animals.

Quicktag is also taking part in its first Invest NI mission. A number of companies will also be travelling to other markets including Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Oman.

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