Ed Colligan, president and chief executive officer of Palm, Inc., and Micheal Martin TD, Ireland's minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, today announced that Palm, a leader in mobile computing and a leading provider of smartphones, has opened a Research and Development Centre at Swords, Co. Dublin, with the support of IDA Ireland (Industrial Development Agency). The centre will develop custom software applications for Palm(R) Treo(TM) smartphones for the mobile operators in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
Minister Martin, speaking at the official opening of the new centre, welcomed the investment. "The impact of attracting an R&D investment to Ireland from a company such as Palm, a high-profile brand leader with a reputation for innovation in wireless and communications, underlines this country's ability to successfully attract high-end R&D projects," he said. "Palm represents an important addition to the emerging wireless sector in this country, a key target area for IDA Ireland. It also is an ideal fit with IDA's strategy of adding higher-value knowledge-intensive activities and strategic mandates to existing operations here."
A smartphone is a single device for wireless voice and data communication. Palm Treo smartphones are known for excellent phone functionality plus email, web browsing, messaging and organization capabilities.(1) Due to the differences in global wireless-communications systems, Palm believes mobile solutions are best delivered with targeted R&D activities and close collaboration with European mobile operators.
The new European Engineering Centre is responsible for the following:
*choosing and developing core, leading-edge technologies, such as 3G/UMTS, to help Palm accelerate the delivery of next-generation smartphones to European mobile operators and their customers;
*supporting the mobile operators in their certification processes and helping field-qualification teams;
*implementing radio technology and mobile operator-specific services and applications; and
*focusing on quality assurance across the complex European networks and infrastructures.
"We are delighted to open this centre in Europe, a significant step up for our R&D function. This move reflects our intention to accelerate the delivery of next-generation smartphones to European mobile operators and their customers," Colligan said. "After careful consideration of alternatives, we were convinced by the IDA and our own analysis that the specific R&D skills crucial to the success of this centre are readily available in Ireland."
The centre is located at Airside Business Park in Swords, alongside Palm's existing European Operations and Supply Chain Group, which has been based in Ireland since 1999.