Deals worth $14million and 50 jobs among initial results of Enterprise Ireland programme in Texas - Minister Bruton

2-day programme with 27 Irish manufacturing, engineering and technology companies targeting opportunities in rapidly-growing oil and gas sector

7 May 2014

Contracts worth a total of $14million and leading to the creation of 50 jobs in Ireland were among the initial, immediate results of the 2-day Enterprise Ireland trade mission to Texas, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD announced today (Wednesday 7th May, 2014).

Pictured left to right: Aidan Cronin, Consul General of Ireland - Chicago, Governor Rick Perry, Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, Orla Battersby, Regional Director, North America – Enterprise Ireland, Donovan Miller, Manager – Austin Office, Enterprise Ireland.
Pictured left to right: Aidan Cronin, Consul General of Ireland - Chicago, Governor Rick Perry, Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, Orla Battersby, Regional Director, North America – Enterprise Ireland, Donovan Miller, Manager – Austin Office, Enterprise Ireland.

The announcement comes at the end of the two-day programme to Houston and Austin, during which Minister Bruton along with Enterprise Ireland and 27 Irish companies was targeting opportunities for Irish companies in the rapidly-growing oil and gas sector.

Among the deals announced over the past two days were:

  • A deal won by Irish underwater technology company Cathx Ocean to supply equipment to enable a major US underwater vehicle manufacturer to ‘see clearly’ during underwater engineering operations, particularly around oil rigs and pipelines, which will help create 50 jobs in Kildare over the next two years.
  • A $4million dollar contract won by Louth manufacturing company Suretank Engineering with Hoover Container Solutions Inc, for the supply of chemical transport tanks and containers for the safe transfer of chemicals and equipment for oil drilling to offshore deepwater rigs.
  • A contract won by GTSS, the maritime training arm of global shipping, logistics and marine services provider GAC and the National Maritime College of Ireland, to train Chevron Shipping’s junior officer corps in Cork. As a result of the deal, over the course of four years, more than 450 officers from around the world will receive maritime training through GTSS at the state-of-the-art National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) facility in Cork.
  • A $600,000 contract won by Monaghan manufacturing company Combilift, for the supply of multidirectional forklifts to TimkenSteel Corporation in Houston, a major US company specialising in deep precision hole making and finishing for the oil and gas sector.
  • Other contracts with major US energy companies which cannot be disclosed for commercial reasons.

Over the course of the two days and 14 meetings and events attended by Minister Bruton, introductions were made, contacts developed and business relationships progressed from which significant increases in exports and jobs by Irish companies are targeted over the coming years.

Minister Bruton is this morning commencing the three-day, 4-city IDA Ireland programme in the Mid West, which will see him hold one-on-one meetings with 10 companies considering investing in Ireland for the first time or expanding their operations already here.

Speaking this morning, Minister Bruton said:

“This was a very successful Enterprise Ireland programme in Houston and Austin. I first visited Texas with Enterprise Ireland fourteen months ago – at that stage it was clear that there were huge opportunities for Irish companies in the rapidly-growing oil and gas sector, but most of the companies were very much at the early stage of building their business here. Since then we have opened an Enterprise Ireland office and a consulate in Austin as part of our programme of intensifying activities overseas, as well as other new supports.

“Only a little over a year later it is amazing to see the progress that our companies have achieved in this rapidly growing area that offers such huge potential. Among the 27 manufacturing, engineering and technology companies accompanying us this week are some truly brilliant companies, and the results announced today show what they are capable of achieving. Some of these are young companies who have grown rapidly to take advantage of the potential of the oil and gas sector – others are more established companies who have adapted their technologies to the opportunities offered by oil and gas.

“I commend Enterprise Ireland and our companies on their achievements, and wish them every success with their future growth in Texas. I look forward to seeing further results – in terms of increased jobs and exports for Ireland – from their development in the coming years”.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland who accompanied Minister Bruton on the trade mission added: “A key element of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy is to grow indigenous Irish companies on a global scale. The announcements made by Irish companies during this trade mission clearly demonstrate the opportunities that exist for highly innovative and ambitious Irish companies in Texas and the wider Southern States of the US. Enterprise Ireland will continue to work closely with our client companies as they grow their international footprint and create much-needed jobs here in Ireland”.


This week, executives from more than two dozen Irish companies converged in Houston for the Offshore Technology Conference. The annual gathering focuses on new trends and technologies in drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection. The event was an anchor stop on a Trade Mission to Texas led by Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD. Organised by Enterprise Ireland, the Mission will deepen trade ties and spark new engagements for Irish companies with business partners in Texas and neighbouring Southern States. During the week, select delegates announced customer deals – collectively valued at more than $14 million.

Minister Bruton also visited Austin where he met with Governor Rick Perry.

The Southern States have become a substantial draw for technologies and services from Ireland-based companies. It’s a natural market fit for businesses making advanced capital equipment and other essential technologies and products for offshore oil and gas development. Since 2011, 30 Irish companies have established operations in the region – accounting for more than 20 percent of the total number planting roots in the US during that time. To support the steady growth, Enterprise Ireland opened an office in Austin last year – strategically expanding beyond its historical strongholds on the East and West coasts, as well as the Midwest. Later this year, the Irish presence will grow larger when a Consulate opens in Austin.

Among the deals finalised this week are included:

  • Carma. The carpooling Apps company launched in Austin in February of this year as part of a pilot project with the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority that provides toll discounts for users who carpool along a northeast Austin-area toll road. The pilot project has exceeded government projections, and as a result the Carma toll discount will be expanded to additional Austin-area toll roads from May 2014.
  • Combilift. Combilift, the global leader in the long material handling sector announced a deal in excess of $600,000 with TimkenSteel Corporation. The TimkenSteel plant in Houston, Texas, recently acquired 5 Combilift Multidirectional forklifts as a solution for transferring solid bar stock within their facility.
  • Duolog Technologies. The System-on-Chip (SoC) products and solutions provider broadened its US presence by opening new offices in Dallas and Austin.
  • Suretank Limited. The maker of cargo carrying units for the offshore oil and gas industry announced a $4 million deal to provide Houston-based Hoover Container Solutions Inc. with transport tanks and containers for safe transfer of chemicals and equipment to deepwater rigs.
  • DecaWave, the developer of the world’s first single chip UWB transceiver for Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications, announced the opening of its first US office in Austin, Texas.
  • In light of the agreement in principle to establish 'Techshop Dublin' on Dublin City University’s (DCU) Innovation Campus, Minister Bruton visited the Techshop facility in Austin, to review their unique hardware innovation platform with Paul Duggan MD Techshop International. Techshop has been described as 'America's most important start up' and is an open access fabrication studio or 'maker space', which lowers the barriers for inventors, entrepreneurs and existing businesses looking to prototype new hardware innovations, through the provision of high-end digital and advanced manufacturing tools on a subscription basis.

About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland’s mission is to work with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses and the research and investment communities to build our international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness within these cohorts. Our over-riding objective is to both sustain and grow jobs in Ireland through export-led growth. For more information, please visit

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