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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 October, 2003, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Software firm brings jobs boost
Software development at the plant is to begin in the new year
More than 160 jobs are to be created in Northern Ireland with the announcement of a software development centre.

The American Allen Systems Group is to open a 3.6m centre in Belfast which, they say, will generate 168 jobs over the next three years.

It is the biggest hi-tech investment in the province in five years.

The investment by the Florida based firm, at Lanyon Place in the city centre, is considered to be further proof that confidence is returning to the IT sector.

Recruitment at the centre is expected to begin immediately while the development of software at the plant is due to commence in the new year.

It is estimated that the jobs will result in salaries of more than 3.7m per year for the economy in the province.

ASG president Arthur Allen said the company had looked at possible sites for the centre as far away as China, Russia and India, but chose Northern Ireland because of the "abundant availability of high quality graduates" in the disciplines they needed.

"We were attracted to the Northern Ireland location because of the efficient accessibility and open door approach to industry by the centres of excellence in software, informatics and electronics at Queen's University and the University of Ulster," he said.

He added that the province's two universities had a long standing track record of working closely with companies in the development of new technologies.

"Since R&D is an essential feature of our business model, we intend to develop close relationships with both universities to facilitate fruitful and productive two-way technology transfer benefits," he added.

The company employs more than 900 staff in 45 offices around the world and generates revenues of about 100m.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC NI's business editor James Kerr reports:
"The market in high-tech mobile investment may be coming back to life"



SEE ALSO:
Jobs boost for hi-tech firm
30 Sep 03  |  Northern Ireland
Jobs boost for wholesale firm
08 Sep 03  |  Northern Ireland


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