Technological advancements in Ireland have for years been aided by the Irish Technology Leadership Group, founded by John Hartnett. Hartnett, who is also president of ITLG, helped to found the now annual “Silicon Valley Comes to Ireland” event in 2007. This annual event selects twelve companies to work in private workshops with members from the delegation. Two companies are then chosen to attend as award winners at the Stanford University/Irish Times Innovation awards in California.
Hartnett, who was born in Corbally, Co. Limerick, has fostered relationships between Ireland and Silicon Value throughout his career. In an interview with socialmedia.net, he spoke of his goals to make Ireland a more self-sufficient and innovative economy. He said, “Ireland historically has been a low-cost, attractive place from a business tax perspective. Hence all the big multinational companies located themselves in Ireland. So it was kind of being seen as an outsource destination… but it hasn’t been seen as a country that is generating its own high-tech multinationals.”
He is a member of the Wireless Advisory Board in the U.S. for Enterprise Ireland and is an active technology investor. He currently serves on Secretary of State Clinton’s Northern Ireland Working Committee. John is also a member of The American Ireland Fund and the US-Ireland Alliance.