Hat trick of first time export successes for Bubble (NI)

Bubble (NI), the Belfast-based digital technology business, secured contracts for its multilingual presentations product in three major markets from its first Invest Northern Ireland trade mission.

The company clinched deals that could be worth around £80,000 during the mission to Dubai, Qatar and Oman last November for its innovative SpeechBubble product for health and safety procedures in the construction industry.

Bubble signed agreements with five companies, including major corporations in the three markets, and is currently negotiating to supply the product to other businesses in the Gulf marketplace.

SpeechBubble enables customers to develop health and safety presentations to employees using 16 different languages. This includes text files, picture files, video, animation, graphics etc. The technology can also be used for other applications including health care and sales and marketing presentations, and the team are now working to develop the product for use in these markets in the short term.

Jim O’Neill, Bubble Sales Director, commenting on the export breakthrough in the Gulf region, said: “We decided to target the Gulf region because of the extent of construction work currently underway, especially in Qatar and Oman. While Dubai has its property and financial problems, there is still a huge amount of building work either underway or planned there.

“Invest NI helped us with essential research through the Trade Advisory Service. This gave us an idea of the market potential, but we weren’t quite sure how SpeechBubble would be received. The only way to find out, of course, was to take part in the Invest NI mission to all three centres. As it turned out, we were overwhelmed and delighted by the interest shown especially by many of the biggest corporations there in our unique technology.

“Companies there depend on workers from many parts of the world, which means they have to provide information for safety and other activities in many different languages. SpeechBubble fits the bill in that it can be used to provide fast translation. We’ve also incorporated an Arabic translation facility. In addition, we’ve developed the technology for smartphone applications including the iphone,” he added.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, welcoming Bubble’s export breakthrough in the Gulf, said: “Winning a series of contracts in all three centres on one of our missions is a very impressive achievement.

“The company approached the mission in a thoroughly professional and structured manner and is now reaping the benefits in terms of new business wins and good contacts made.

“The company is now following up the contacts assiduously and is researching other opportunities for SpeechBubble technology in additional markets, from Saudi Arabia to Russia, and also in other industries including life sciences. It has clearly developed a technology product with huge potential in the global marketplace,” added Dr Kell.