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The role of industry associations in stimulating economic development: a case study of the information and communication technologies sector in Cork

Carol Power, Barry Brunt


The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector has contributed significantly to Ireland's recent economic success. While the sector remains disproportionately concentrated in the Dublin region, Cork has also benefited from the location of electronics manufacturing operations and, more recently, the emergence of an indigenous software sector. Drawing on interviews, archival research, and unpublished primary data, this article examines Cork's development as a centre for ICT investment since the 1980s. Particular attention is focused on the role of two local industry associations - the CEIA and it@cork - in facilitating the sector's expansion in Cork. By establishing critical links with semi-state organisations, these associations have contributed to the upgrading of Cork's physical infrastructure and the enhancement of social networks which, increasingly, are recognised as an important factor in regional competitiveness.

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