New 3D technology company developed in Londonderry for construction industry

Urban Art, a Derry-based company, is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to win business for its highly innovative technology for the property and construction sectors in markets outside Northern Ireland.

The company, formed by Paul Doherty, an experienced Architectural Technologist, in November 2006, is investing almost £230,000 in marketing 3D visual software delivered through a variety of channels - including the internet - for use by construction and property businesses. The company’s innovative technology draws together architecture, technology, property marketing, design innovation and animation to offer customers a unique service.

Backing for the company, which is based at the North West Business Complex at Skeoge, was announced by Des Gartland, Invest NI’s North West Regional Office Manager. Mr Gartland said: “This is a very entrepreneurial business with pioneering new technology and extensive export potential. Our objective is to assist the company in adding further value to its products through increasing the services they offer customers.

“Urban Art has pinpointed a developing niche within its target markets for strongly visual products that can be accessed and manipulated easily by customers. It has already developed an impressive portfolio of clients across a broad range of business sectors and clearly has significant growth potential.

“Our support has been tailored to enable this small but highly progressive technology-led company to develop its expertise in key areas such as marketing and ICT. We are backing the drive, determination and skills of the business owner with practical support and finance that will also make it easier for him to develop his technology, build a capable team and thereby to establish the business as a key player in the marketplace.

“The company has set challenging growth objectives and aims to create several new jobs over the next few years.”

Mr Doherty, commenting on the business, said: “A key objective for the company is to grow sales by around 300 per cent, mostly through export sales to the Republic of Ireland, which I expect to contribute 80 per cent of turnover, over the next two years.

“Substantial investment is being made to develop the export marketing capability required to realise this goal. In addition, I plan further investment in the software technology, particularly in innovative 3D animation, to ensure our competitive edge in our target markets. I recognise the need to add value continually to the product portfolio and thereby maintain a market leading position.

“The innovative nature of our technology has been recognised and has led to a series of contracts from customers as diverse as architectural practices, estate agents, planners and designers.

“My research indicates a £40 million spend in Ireland on the promotion and marketing of new-build property. Vendors are increasingly seeking more effective and creative methods of marketing. Accelerating sales will require a strong brand image that will set us apart in our markets combined with an effective distribution channel,” he added.

Invest NI has offered Urban Art financial assistance of £34,000 towards the eligible costs of almost £190,000. The funding will enable the company to develop and implement an export marketing strategy and state of the art information systems.