Eighteen Northern Ireland technology companies pitched for business from the military, civilian, state and local agencies, along with suppliers to government, corporate, education and healthcare technology buyers across the US from 19-23 March.
Five of the companies displayed their expertise on an Invest Northern Ireland stand at FOSE 2007, the biggest and longest running US government technology showcase in Washington DC. They were among more than 500 exhibitors showcasing the newest and most exciting technology products and services at the event in the Washington Convention Centre.
Attendance at FOSE 2007 was part of an Invest NI led delegation which took place as part of Rediscover Northern Ireland, a promotional programme which aims to raise US awareness of Northern Ireland’s thriving economy, revitalised cities, and unique culture.
More than 40 events are scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. between March and July 2007, highlighting the region’s trade and business, arts and culture, cuisine, tourism, and education.
The programme will culminate in Northern Ireland’s participation in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival from June 27 to July 8, 2007 on the National Mall, during which approximately 160 of Northern Ireland’s finest musicians, storytellers, cooks, craftspeople, entrepreneurs, sports persons and cultural experts will share with an estimated million festival visitors the living traditions that make and sustain the cultural life of Northern Ireland.
Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director, says: “FOSE is an immensely important event for Northern Ireland companies wishing to do business with the federal and state administrations in the US. It delivers a qualified audience of key government technology buyers. The Rediscover Northern Ireland programme will help to highlight the products and skills from Northern Ireland particularly in technology sectors.
“The US government is the largest buyer of information technology in the world, spending annually over $300 billion on goods and services, much of it on IT. FOSE, therefore, provides access to government decision makers who are serious about acquiring new IT products and services. It’s a great way for our companies to meet buyers and to find out about the technology they need,” he adds.
The event, now in its 30th year, is geared for companies seeking partners, buyers, or suppliers for the US government marketplace. It also provides an ideal platform for smaller companies in particular to learn more about doing business with the US government.
Participation was also supported by the Northern Ireland Bureau and Greater Washington Initiatives (GWI), an organisation which helps in arranging meetings and lead generation. GWI has already been involved in a series of preparatory briefings with companies taking part in the exhibition. The NI Bureau offers Northern Ireland companies ‘hot desk’ facilities in Washington.
“GWI is an integral part of the range of support services that we offer local companies within the Passport to Export programme.
“They are able to access practical, expert support and advice from an organisation with vast experience of doing business with the US government. The NI Bureau in Washington also offers access for local companies to a vast reservoir of market knowledge and networks of contacts in the Washington area,” he adds.