Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry and Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell today opened HighWire Press Inc’s new European office for development and technical support in Belfast and announced the launch of the HighWire Academy.
Today’s event follows the recent announcement that HighWire Press Inc. has chosen Belfast as its international location and will create 74 jobs in Northern Ireland over the next three years. Both Ministers met with Highwire Press during an investment visit to California in January 2016.
The HighWire Academy will be supported by the Department for Employment and Learning under the Assured Skills initiative and the pre-employment training will be delivered by South Eastern Regional College (SERC).
Minister Farry said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of the inaugural HighWire Academy, which will provide the company with a skilled and job ready pool of highly talented local graduates to staff their International Technical Support and Development Centre here in Belfast.
“The continuing commitment of companies such as HighWire to create jobs in Northern Ireland is hugely important to our continued economic growth. My Department continues to work closely with our Invest NI colleagues to encourage international companies to bring their business to Northern Ireland, stimulating the creation of new jobs that is so crucial to the local economy.”
The Belfast office for HighWire will include global leadership for technology and customer support teams to rapidly expand platform development capabilities and work more directly with European publishers and societies. This investment reflects HighWire’s long-term commitment to advance the goals of its publishing partners who serve the global research and scholarly communities across diverse disciplines.
Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell said: “Northern Ireland has a growing reputation as the ideal technology hub location. The availability of enthusiastic skilled graduates and staff is one of the main reasons companies are attracted to setting up here. The announcement by HighWire to select Belfast as their international location with the creation of 74 jobs is a vote of confidence for both the city and Northern Ireland. These jobs have been created with the support of Invest Northern Ireland and it will generate over £7.5million in salaries into the local economy over the three year project period.
An initial 14 graduates will undertake an intensive five week software engineering training programme delivered by SERC. The training will have a strong focus on Drupal, an open source content management system. HighWire’s Open Platform technology runs on Drupal to rapidly enable platform customization and meet growing publisher and industry demand for faster integrations. For participants that complete the academy there is a potential offer of employment with HighWire Press Inc.
Dan Filby, CEO of HighWire Press, commented: “One of the reasons we selected Belfast is the outstanding talent pool. The intersection of government, academic, and private industry, encouraged by the programmes made available by the Department for Employment and Learning, creates what we believe is a unique collaboration that will continue to strengthen the talent ecosystem in Northern Ireland.”
Mr Filby added: “We are pleased to announce Rob Smyth, Director, Engineering Quality Assurance, who will lead a team of technology professionals to provide innovative solutions that meet demands in today’s more open, integrated publishing landscape.”
Rob Smyth, HighWire Press said: “I look forward to connecting the creative and dynamic developer community in Belfast with our world-leading publishing partners to meet strategic goals and advance the architecture of research communication.”
Applications to the HighWire Academy will open on Thursday 24 March 2016 and will close on Wednesday 14 April 2016 at 12.00 noon and the training programme for successful applicants will start on the first week of May 2016.
Further information on the HighWire Academy and details on how to apply can be found at: http://highwire.mindmill.co.uk.