Sync NI Recap: January 2020's top 10 NI tech stories

  • Don't miss a big announcement or the latest developments in the NI tech and business scene. Here are the top 10 most popular Northern Ireland Sync NI tech stories from January 2020

    We're off to a fantastic start to the year in the Northern Ireland tech and business scene, and it's clear this month that many people are thinking about reskilling into tech. January saw the announcement of a new digital skills training company and the launch of several new tech apprenticeships in Northern Ireland.

    Hundreds of new tech jobs were lined up this month, with KPMG announcing plans to create 800 new jobs across the island of Ireland this year, and Microsoft announcing plans for a new 85-person cybersecurity centre. Local software development firm Kainos also reached £1bn stock market valuation this month, and several local infrastructure and engineering firms closed on big contracts to ring in the new year.


    Tyrone man arrested in connection to international cyber crime

    A 22-year-old man in Northern Ireland has been arrested in connection with an international cyber-crime operation.

    He has allegedly been connected to a criminal website which offers access to more than 12bn personal credentials taken from around 10,000 data breaches, from as little as $2 per day. These credentials were used in attacks within Germany, the US and the UK. Another 22-year-old man was arrested by Dutch authorities in the Netherlands. Officers believe the two men made more than £200,000 in profits from the site ... [Continue Reading]



    Workplus offers 120 apprenticeship places for 2020

    Workplus has announced that it has created 120 apprenticeship opportunities with 28 employers in Northern Ireland and applications are now open.

    The Belfast based company, which helps employers develop talent through apprenticeships, estimates that almost £8m will be earned by the successful candidates over the period of their apprenticeships, some of which will last up to six years, with the possibility of permanent jobs.

    Those successful will take up positions at companies including Liberty IT, ... [Continue Reading]



    New digital skills training company plans to address Northern Ireland training gap

    Alchemy Digital Training is planning to invest £250,000 in a state-of-the-art digital training hub in Belfast, creating 10 jobs over three years.

    Northern Ireland's IT and tech sector is booming, but research has shown that the region has a shortage of digital skills training. We live in a more connected world than ever before, and even traditional businesses are having to skill up in digital marketing, analytics, and management tools to compete.

    That's a problem that new digital skills training company Alchemy Digital Training is planning to tackle with the opening of its first dedicated digital training hub in Belfast this year. The company plans to ... [Continue Reading]



    Microsoft to open Belfast cybersecurity centre with 85 new jobs

    Tech giant Microsoft is creating a new cybersecurity centre in Belfast, generating up to 85 new jobs.

    Belfast Met is providing pre-employment training places in Assured Skills Academies to help individuals compete for these vacancies. Academies are open to anyone with a 2:2 degree or above in any discipline, or a Level 5 qualification in an IT-related subject. All students who successfully complete the Academy will be ensured a job interview with Microsoft.

    Darren Dillon of Microsoft said the cybersecurity centre will “provide support to Microsoft’s largest enterprise customers across Europe, Middle East and Africa” and he hopes the NI team will continue to grow ... [Continue Reading]


    Kainos reaches £1bn stock market valuation

    Belfast-based software firm Kainos has now reached a stock market valuation of more than £1bn, which represents the number of company shares multiplied by the current price of those shares.

    Kainos is one of Northern Ireland’s largest home-grown companies and specialises in helping organisations digitise their business, including UK government departments and other public bodies. Its share price has been rising quickly in recent months from around £5 in November to over £8 today.

    In November, its stock valuation was around £600m, and the firm posted results then showing its profits had risen by more than a third in the first half of the financial year. Turnover was up 29% to £87m and adjusted pre-tax profit rose by 27% to ... [Continue Reading]


    Rakuten Mobile and Queen's University to set up Edge Computing Hub in Belfast

    Queen's University and Rakuten Mobile are teaming up to set up an Edge Computing Hub in Belfast, aiming to revolutionise the way we use the internet.

    In today's internet, much of what we access online comes from cloud-based server infrastructure designed to balance the massive computing and bandwidth requirements of everything from video streaming and website hosting to providing cloud build and remote computing services for software developers.

    One problem with cloud infrastructure is that the server delivering your content or performing your computing isn't necessarily close on the network, in fact it could be ... [Continue Reading]


    KPMG creating 800 new jobs across the island of Ireland

    Global consultancy and accountancy firm KPMG has announced that it will create 800 new jobs across its offices in Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Belfast this year.

    It's been an extremely positive few years for KPMG in Ireland, with the company expanding rapidly from around 2,000 staff in 2014 to over 3,400 today. The firm has announced plans to create an additional 800 new jobs across the island of Ireland by the end of 2020, growth spurred by increased demand in Ireland's booming tech sector.

    Around half of the new jobs will be aimed at seasoned professionals with experience and half will be aimed at recent university graduates. Some of those jobs will be created at the Belfast office, which currently employs over 175 people and provides ... [Continue Reading]


    Belfast broadband provider challenges phone companies with 2020 rollout

    Belfast-based broadband provider Fibrus has announced plans to roll out full fibre broadband to Castlewellan, Newcastle and Ballynahinch in the first half of 2020.

    The firm said broadband will be available to 15,000 homes and businesses following the successful completion of its pilot project in Dundrum in 2019, which was part of an £84m investment. Fibrus has recruited a new team to assist with the plans, that together bring over 60 years of combined experience in the IT and telecoms industry. The company was founded by Conal Henry and Dominic Kearns.

    Dominic said: “Our challenge is to build a scalable organisation ... [Continue Reading]


    NI engineering firm lands multi-million US airline deal

    Dungannon-based Mallaghan Engineering has announced a multi-million dollar contract with Delta Air Lines, one of the USA's major air services.

    The firm will supply bespoke Maintenance Platform Lifts (MPLs) for use at airports across the United States. Mallaghan Engineering currently employs over 450 people at its manufacturing facilities in Atlanta and Northern Ireland. An additional 10 members of staff were hired in Atlanta in order to complete the recent Delta Air Lines order.

    The firm's commercial manager, Joe Griffith said that the equipment ensures "maintenance teams can position themselves safely by the aircraft and is suitable for use across a wide range of aircraft, including wide body jets.” ... [Continue Reading]



    Dell Technologies and Ulster University to boost NI tech innovation as part of Belfast City Deal

    Ulster University and Dell Technologies have signed an agreement to deliver £85m of innovation support for the local medtech and creative industries as part of the Belfast City Deal.

    The ambitious Belfast Region City Deal was announced back in April 2019 with plans to reach £850m of investment in the Northern Ireland economy and create up to 20,000 jobs. The massive 10-year scheme will involve the creation of several cutting-edge centres of innovation touching almost every sector of the tech economy, from manufacturing and digital healthcare centres to Screen and creative media labs.

    Ulster University and Dell Technologies have now announced that they've signed a deal to work together to develop emerging technology in digital health and drive innovation the screen and media industry. ... [Continue Reading]


    About the author

    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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