Cisco Systems and Microsoft Ireland are the title sponsors of a major Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG) event that will link high-potential local companies with Silicon Valley leaders. The event, “Silicon Valley Comes to Ireland 2008”, will take place on November 18th and 19th at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and is hosted by the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG), a group of senior Irish-American technology executives committed to strengthening the developmental ties between Silicon Valley and Ireland.

Cisco Systems and Microsoft Ireland will be the title sponsors of the two day event, where early stage and mature Irish technology companies with ambitions of accessing the U.S. markets, will meet with business leaders, policy makers and key industry organizations from Silicon Valley. An Taoiseach Brian Cowen, TD, will address attendees at a special reception during the event, which will conclude with a gala dinner attended on behalf of the Government by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan, TD.

“This past spring, at Stanford University, the ITLG honored a number of Irish technology companies for their achievements and potential to expand into the U.S. market. Now, in partnership with technology sector leaders Microsoft and Cisco, we are meeting at another great institution, Trinity College Dublin, to encourage more innovative Irish firms to engage with Silicon Valley and seek to avail of the resources available to companies there. “Ireland’s best prospect for its future economic success is to innovate its way out of the current global downturn,” commented John Hartnett, Chairman of the ITLG.

Commenting about its decision to sponsor this important event, MD of Microsoft Ireland, Paul Rellis said: “Driving, promoting and harnessing innovation is critical if Ireland is to return to the level of economic growth that we have experienced in recent times. Indigenous Irish companies who have their own intellectual property and who are focused on expansion during these difficult times have the potential to play a key role in Ireland’s economic recovery. The upcoming ITLG event will provide an ideal platform for these companies to explore opportunities for expansion into the US and potentially gives them access to investment capital. We are delighted to sponsor this initiative and would love to see some successful partnerships coming out of the two day event.”

Commenting on the ITLG event, Kim Majerus, Country Director, Cisco Ireland, said: “Both product and service innovation will be key elements of any future economic growth in both Ireland and the U.S. We need to leverage the strong relationships between innovative technology companies, particularly those with a presence in both Ireland and Silicon Valley, to support this. With Cisco operations based in Dublin and R&D centre in Galway, running in tandem with our U.S. operations, Cisco will help drive such business efforts.”

On both Tuesday November 18th and Wednesday November 19th, participating Irish companies will engage in ‘closed door’ review sessions, where a number of firms will have the opportunity to engage directly with members of the Silicon Valley delegation. Wednesday’s activity also includes a CEO panel discussion sponsored by Matheson Ormsby Prentice and a cocktail reception and gala dinner hosted by Intel Capital. Additional event sponsors include Aer Lingus, The Westbury Hotel and Trinity College Dublin.

Keynote speakers for the event will include two of Silicon Valley's most prominent civic and industry leaders, Carl Guardino, President of Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Tom McEnery, former Mayor of San Jose. A number of leading U.S.-based financial intuitions, entrepreneurs and private equity firms will also attend the two day proceedings.

For more information about the ITLG or the event, visit www.itlg.org