Make IT in Ireland, a new industry-backed initiative aimed at attracting professionals and increasing competitiveness in the Irish IT sector, is under way in the country. The project was launched in January 2013 by recruitment marketing and software provider Zartis and is being backed by a number of blue-chip multinationals, including Google, Twitter and Facebook.

The initiative will promote the Irish technology sector through traditional and online media, and is in the process of establishing an online CV database, which can be accessed by the companies participating in the programme. Before the nationwide campaign was launched, a local programme focusing on the southern city of Cork was rolled out in October 2012. Both of the initiatives are commercial, and are largely funded by contributions from high-tech multinationals.

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“Companies pay for their participation in the initiative, but they would not be doing so if they did not see the value in it,” said John Dennehy, managing director at Zartis and one of the founders of Make IT in Ireland. Mr Dennehy said that collective budget for both projects is a “six-figure sum”, but is unable to disclose the exact amount as some parts of the budget are still being negotiated.

He added that the participation of the biggest IT corporations has also another, non-financial aspect that helps with marketing Ireland as destination for technology professionals. “As these corporations are a part of initiative, they are helping by providing customised services for us, for example a YouTube channel that looks different to others.”

Data from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets shows that in the past decade, crossborder greenfield projects in Ireland's software and IT sector accounted for 35% of inward FDI projects. There have been 7500 jobs created in the sector as a result of FDI since 2007. However, according to Mr Dennehy, the reputation of Ireland as a tech hub has been damaged by the country's economic crisis.

“We might have problems in Irish economy, but our tech sector is actually booming. Yet, as Ireland received a lot of bad press in the past five years, many professionals who entered job market recently may not think about Ireland as a place where they could potentially live and work.”