Business

US semiconductor company to open global IT services hub in Belfast

David Costar (right), senior vice president and chief information officer at Wolfspeed, with Steve Harper, executive director of international business at Invest NI
Gary McDonald Business Editor

A WORD-of-mouth recommendation from another inward investor about their positive experience of Belfast has led to a global leader in semiconductor technology setting up a base in the city.

New York Stock Exchange-listed Wolfspeed - which had revenues last year close to £500 million - plans to establish a global capabilities centre in Belfast which will create 40 jobs by 2025.

Based at Durham in North Carolina, the company is the market in the worldwide adoption of silicon carbide, a synthetically produced crystalline compound of silicon and carbon material used for sandpapers, grinding wheels, and cutting tools.

It supplies to a global customer base in sectors including electric vehicles, renewable energy and storage, communications infrastructure, aerospace and defence, and other industrial markets.

Recruitment for the first wave of new workers is under way, with additional hires scaling up over time after the planned February opening.

And when fully operational, the project will generate around £1.8 million a year in wages.

Invest NI has offered financial assistance of £300,000, provided advice on location, and helped to find suitable office space.

And the agency's international business executive director Steve Harper revealed: “Wolfspeed initially approached us after hearing directly from another inward investor about their positive experiences here, which shows how important our diaspora network is to help promote Northern Ireland as an investment location.”

David Costar, senior vice president and chief information officer for Wolfspeed, said. “The new global capability centre will be a strategic shared services hub for our IT organisation and help drive innovation and expansion of our global digital capabilities into Europe

“The financial support from Invest NI, high quality of talent, infrastructure, and academic expertise, and the positive experiences of other companies convinced us this was the right location for a strategic investment.”

Wolfspeed’s Northern Ireland team will include roles in core IT operations and services such as infrastructure, network operations, systems engineering and application development along with cybers ecurity and compliance.

The hub will also be the centre of excellence for automation engineering and data analytics leading the company’s digital transformation to high-tech manufacturing.

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