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Ireland and Saudi Arabia Hope to Tap into Ohio Talent

Some of the strongest and fastest growing economies today aren't in China or India. Science, technology and healthcare are alive and well in places like Ireland and Saudi Arabia. Representatives from both of those governments were on hand at the Cleveland Clinic Innovation Summit this week and say they're looking to support partnerships with American entrepreneurs. The weak dollar has encouraged Irish companies to set up or expand operations in the US, and the educated workforce, low corporate taxes, and position as a gateway to Europe are just some of the incentives Ireland offers to American companies hoping to expand in the other direction. Tom Kelly is a representative of Enterprise Ireland - an Irish government agency whose goal is to promote Irish economic development.

KELLY: We're interested in any entrepreneur of any company - and were interested in engaging in an alliance partnership- setting up in Ireland.

High-tech and bioscience companies have flourished in Ireland where the number of Ph.D.'s per capita is among the highest in the world. In order to maintain that momentum, the agency is reaching out to hubs of American medical and bioscience innovation in places like Massachusetts, California and Ohio. For fledgling companies struggling to get of the ground, they offer funding, as well as business and technical support. For existing businesses, it can be a tariff-free gateway into the European market.

KELLY: When you manufacture, when you produce in Ireland, your goods can be traded anywhere within the European Union's Economy. So that's a huge incentive if you're looking to a European market.

And that's a win-win situation according to Kelley -who says that Irish companies in the US now employ as many Americans as American companies employ Irish people in Ireland. The strong biomedical and healthcare sectors here means that Ireland will continue to look to NE Ohio as a source of talent and business partnership in the future.

Gretchen Cuda, 90.3