We spoke recently with Chicago-based Ryan Shaughnessy, an Enterprise Ireland Market Advisor for the industrial technology sector, to ask about his work in helping US companies source innovative business solutions.
What are the main trends shaping industrial technology in your region?
Manufacturing output is up by four percent in the US this year, which is driving general growth in the area. More specifically, we are seeing a lot of IT-related growth, as a result of widespread demand for innovative solutions that address major challenges. As a result of the trend toward autonomous driving in the automotive sector, for example, manufacturing is moving away from more traditional methods and incorporating technologies from the IT area. In farming, we are seeing the development of new AgriTech solutions, as technology is used to increase yield and help those in the area to maximize efficiencies and be more productive.
How do you work with Irish and US companies?
As Enterprise Ireland market advisors, we use regional and local expertise to help Irish companies adapt solutions for partners in markets like the US. We also hold events to introduce potential US partners to Irish companies that can help them with their specific challenges – which is really a form of matchmaking!
Who are you working with at the moment?
I am working with a number of great Irish companies, including Ventac, a noise specialist who sells into the automotive sector. Another Irish company is Cubic Telecom, who ‘s very strong in the Internet of Things (IoT) and connectivity solutions. These are all strong examples of what innovative Irish companies offer the US car manufacturing industry.
Why should US companies want to work with Enterprise Ireland?
We offer an excellent depth of in-market and international experience, knowledge and networks. As someone from an Irish business said to me recently, we are essentially an extension of the companies we work with. We support and develop the most innovative Irish companies with funding and mentoring to become a well-resourced additional arm of the company. We work with them through their entire journey, from starting out to scaling up, and our resources help them deliver the best solutions for clients in international markets.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I can honestly say that there is no typical day. For example, yesterday I had a meeting with an Irish company who has a business plan for the North American market. Earlier in the week, I was in the Carolinas helping a client who is in the process of setting up an office, which is due to open next year. During that week, we met local developmental associations, attended a trade fair, and also met potential customers to discuss their needs.
What I love most about my job is being able to use my past experience in distribution, sales and marketing, and business development to help the companies I support. It’s really rewarding when a client comes to me with a plan for the US market and asks me to analyze it. After a period of time, their plan is underway and they are growing sales while solving problems for US customers. I love the travel element too and feel very lucky to work with some of the most cutting-edge technologies from Ireland and helping introduce them to the US.