Invest NI backs Coleraine digital technology pioneer

Digital Future Solutions in Coleraine is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop export sales of its highly innovative audio-visual media server platform.

The company, based at the University of Ulster Science Research Park, is pioneering a multizone system that distributes and sources movies, audio and other media types to every room of the home or office.  Users can then access and view their media via TVs, Hifi, PCs, mobile phones, iPods and other devices.

Announcing assistance to the company through the Growth Accelerator Programme (GAP), Des Gartland, Invest NI’s North West Regional Office Manager in Londonderry, said: “Digital Future Solutions is at the leading-edge of technology that will have an increasingly significant impact on people at home and at their workplace.

“GAP support enables this entrepreneurial company to access funding quickly that can be used to bring this exciting and innovative technology to market faster. The purpose of the project is to develop the company’s export business beyond Ireland and the UK into Europe and eventually into the US.  It has already received very positive feedback on the product from its participation in key trade shows.

“The company, furthermore, is already implementing a clearly defined strategy designed to increase its European sales from five per cent to 20 per cent of turnover by 2009 and has developed sales in Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and mainland Europe.

“Digital Future Solutions is clearly an enterprising business focused on developing added value products for clients in the global marketplace. It is an excellent example of the type of innovation-led business that we are keen to encourage and assist to access opportunities developing rapidly from the convergence of digital technologies in global markets,” he added.

David Perry, Managing Director of Digital Future Solutions, who formed the business in 2003, said: “We appreciate the encouragement and support that is being provided by Invest NI towards the development and marketing of our Multizone Media Server.

“The market in which we are operating is at an early stage in its development. The UK, for example, is currently worth around £30 million per annum. This and other global markets are projected to grow strongly and to require more technical and sophisticated solutions.  We are very well positioned to add further value to our existing technology and to provide the advanced solutions that the market will demand.

“To this end, we have an agreement in place with one of the largest manufacturers in this sector for the licensing of our software in their products.  This relationship also strengthens our standing within this developing sector and will be of significant benefit to our export marketing activities,” he added.

Mr Perry, a computer systems developer, worked within the Capital Markets sector in Japan and London before returning to Northern Ireland in 2003 with the intention of developing his concept of a high-tech, simple to use and affordable digital home entertainment solution.

The company currently employs five people in Coleraine in the development of digital technology systems for sale through OEMs and a network of dealers in the UK and Europe. Among customers of the company’s home systems are leading recording artists and premiership footballers.