Aetopia Lifts the Curtain on Major Technology Contract in Republic


Aetopia, the Belfast-based developer of innovative digital asset management (DAM) systems, has developed a bespoke software solution to digitise the archives of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, in association with experts at the National University of Ireland in Galway.

The Aetopia solution enables the historic theatre archive to be accessed quickly and easily using the latest Cloud technology. It is the largest digital theatre project ever undertaken.

Aetopia has used a range of support from Invest Northern Ireland, including R&D to develop its DAM technology. Invest NI support for R&D is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The company has also received marketing support for its MediaCore software brand which has helped the company achieve success in the Republic of Ireland and other European markets including the Netherlands.

Moira Loughran, Invest NI’s Regional Business Manager, said: “This is an immensely encouraging success in the Republic of Ireland by an export-focused and innovation driven company.

“The company is succeeding by means of a strategy which combines ongoing investment in its technology with a dedicated approach to customer service, enabling it to respond quickly and effectively to the specific requirements of existing and potential clients, especially in markets outside Northern Ireland.”

Aidan McGrath, Co-founder and Director, said: “Winning the contract with the Abbey Theatre and the National University of Ireland (NUI) in Galway is immensely significant business for us because it is an endorsement of Aetopia’s technology and our customer-focused service, the latter being a key feature of our approach. While we have an established software platform, our systems are developed in line with the specific requirements of individual customers.

“Invest NI has been immensely supportive of our business and has enabled us to grow successfully through assistance from including R&D, Innovation Vouchers and export marketing.”

Frank Kerr, Director of Engineering said: “The Abbey holds one of the world’s most significant archival collections. It features a wealth of extraordinary and unique material, which provides a fascinating insight into Irish theatre, history, culture and society. It was, therefore, an extremely challenging contract because of the breadth of material which ranged from show posters, programmes, photographs, minute books to lighting plans, set and costume designs, sound cues, prompt scripts and audio files."

The software solution was chosen by NUI Galway, which had acquired the rights to digitise the archive to create a fully searchable Asset Management System, because of its flexibility and proven track record with a broad range of media operations.

One of the key requirements was to facilitate the theatre’s 30 year embargo rule, so a system of releasing material on a rolling, year-by-year basis, needed to be built into the digital asset management system.

The latest success in the Republic of Ireland was announced as Invest NI is encouraging local companies to take part in a unique International Export Challenge competition organised in conjunction with British Airways designed to encourage companies to explore opportunities in markets such as Latin America.

The competition offers local companies an opportunity to win flights, accommodation and market research by completing an application form.