Original ideas to harness the business potential of the Internet and multimedia technologies are being displayed on an Invest Northern Ireland stand by six knowledge-driven companies at GITEX 2002 in Dubai, the Middle East’s biggest information technology showcase.

Four of the participating companies at the exhibition, which is being held from 14-17 October, are from Londonderry and are focused on solutions that help improve business efficiency and overall profitability.

Among new products launched at the exhibition by Northern Ireland companies are software for business automation and property sales, and a device which enables web cameras to be tilted and rotated.

Tracy Meharg, Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development Services at Invest NI, said: "Our stand at GITEX is demonstrating Northern Ireland’s broadly based expertise in and knowledge of the latest e-technologies for international business and commerce."

"The participating companies exemplify Northern Ireland’s strong technology base and the focus of many companies on smart ideas that can be applied easily by clients to achieve business growth."

"The exhibition is providing an ideal opportunity for smaller technology companies in particular to explore business and make contacts in a region which is investing heavily in information technology. Dubai, for example, is being developed by its government into the Middle East’s global internet technology hub."

"Our presence at the exhibition, which draws IT buyers from most parts of the world to Dubai, also shows potential business contacts and investors the commitment of Northern Ireland universities to leading-edge research in electronics and to technology transfer through close links with established companies and by forming spin-out businesses."

"We are particularly keen to promote and assist spin-out companies and have been working closely with both universities to facilitate a process which will strengthen the knowledge-base and R&D focus on local industry."

"Smaller companies also gain valuable experience and enhance their marketing capability by participation at important international events such as GITEX," she added.

GITEX is expected to attract over 50,000 IT professionals and will have almost 2,000 exhibiting companies including major manufacturers such as Samsung, Fujitsu-Siemens and Hewlett Packard.

Northern Ireland companies are being assisted by staff from Invest NI’s Trade Development Centre, which is based at Dubai Internet City.

Taking part on the Northern Ireland stand are:

Caral Technologies , Londonderry, which has developed Caral ©Doc, Caral©Portal, Caral©Forms, web-based, high-value-added, innovative technological solutions to very common business processes such as document management, product/services promotion, forms and application generation, messaging, and the internal (intranet) and external (extranet) sharing of information or collaboration.

Eyespyfx Ltd, Londonderry, which provides pan, tilt, zoom web camera solutions for remote surveillance and control applications. This expertise also integrates video on a web page.

Nortel Networks Ltd, Newtownabbey, the Northern Ireland division of the Canadian telecoms group, is the main optical systems unit in Europe and a major R&D centre of excellence. The company is also a recent winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and was Northern Ireland’s Exporter of the Year 2000.

Singularity Ltd, Londonderry, has developed activeworkflow, a revolutionary workflow and process automation platform that provides a flexible and highly integratable component based architecture that enables end-to-end automation with high visibility of key performance indicators. Activeworkflow can deliver the complex but business driven, component and data management solutions demanded by today’s high throughput line-of-business requirements.

Sugarcube, Carrickfergus, is a wireless marketing company offering a unique blend of technical expertise and marketing creativity. Sugarcube is a leading provider of original solutions for customer relationship management. Ltd, Londonderry, has developed software to enable commercial property to be accessed by buyers online. Buyers can browse properties on offer, make investment calculations, make offers and request finance from affiliated financial institutions – all in complete confidentiality.