Major Research and Development Investment Announced by Seagate


First Minister the Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson MLA and the deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA have announced a £34.7million investment by Seagate Technology (Ireland) in Londonderry in a major research and development project.

The project involves the development of cutting-edge, heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology, and will require a team of 178 highly qualified staff, necessitating the recruitment of an additional 35 highly skilled R&D engineers.

The First Minister Peter Robinson said: “Seagate has made an enormous contribution to the Northern Ireland economy over the last 21 years and this investment of almost £35million underpins the company’s commitment to Northern Ireland and its confidence in our high quality of staff and ability to deliver the highest quality services.

“Today’s announcement is the largest research and development investment this year accounting for over 40 per cent of Northern Ireland’s target for 2014. It is the latest in a series of R&D investments over recent years that have enhanced the Springtown facility’s strategic importance within the wider Seagate operation. When fully operational, this major project will provide almost 180 highly trained staff including 35 new high value positions with an average salary of £35,000 per annum.

“The Northern Ireland Executive has recently launched its new Innovation Strategy setting out a vision for Northern Ireland to become one of the UK’s leading high growth regions by 2025. Seagate is a company built on innovation and is well positioned to advance as a result of its strong research and development track record, its links to local universities and a talented local workforce which keeps it at the fore front Northern Ireland’s innovation industry.”

The deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “This is a tremendous day for Derry with Seagate investing £34.7million here at Springtown.

“Seagate operates in an environment where the pace of innovation is relentless and this investment signals the company is confident Derry and the north west is capable of meeting the considerable challenges. Whether it is advances in cloud computing, big data or the next big thing in technology this site at Springtown will be an important element of Seagate’s future. The technological decisions and developments made in Derry have the potential to impact on future generations globally.

“Since 1993 Seagate has invested in the north in excess of £1billion in terms of capital, research and development spend, salaries and UK sourcing. Locally, employing over 1,300 people Seagate is a major employer in the North West and their presence here continues to make a massive difference to people, families, businesses and the wider community.

“I can assure Dave Mosley, President Seagate Operations and Technology and Brian Burns, Plant Manager, Seagate Technology of our continued support as the company continues to innovate and drive the evolution of the devices they produce.”

Invest NI has offered c£7.8million of assistance, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Seagate is a global leader in data storage solutions, an important part of which is its facility in Springtown where the company develops and manufactures read-write heads for hard disk drives. This manufacturing operation is recognised as the UK’s most advanced nanotechnology manufacturing facility.

David Mosley, Seagate’s President of Operations and Technology, said: “The explosive increase in demand for storage from mobile applications, cloud-computing infrastructures, social media, business applications and consumer markets is driving the need to develop new technology that can deliver greater storage capacity.

“This R&D project will see the Springtown R&D team, supported by Ansin at Queen’s University Belfast, apply its expertise to the task of developing HAMR technology and help the company achieve competitive advantage.

“Invest NI’s support has been vital to enabling us to make this Research & Development investment in Northern Ireland.”

Ansin is an advanced materials research and development hub set up as a joint venture between Seagate and Queen’s University.