How useful are Intel, Google, etc. to our innovation culture?

Civic_critic2

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As far as I am aware Ireland has some of the most advanced semiconductor microchip manufacturing facilities in the world. Yet if you want to create a custom chip - for example a bitcoin mining chip - everyone has to go to China, have a chat with guys over there and find a fab that will do custom chips/dies at a reasonable price.

If we have such advanced facilities just down the road why aren't we able to communicate with Intel as advisors or actual manufacturers if we have ideas for innovative designs and applications? Why should we have to go to China? Should it not be a government policy to insist as part of Intels' operation that they set aside some facilities for use by local people/businesses that can contribute significantly to local innovation and entrepreneurialism?

Also in China the goods manufactured in the factories appear to spill into the local markets and every kind of device, attachment, spare part etc can be found in markets in its major cities - this adds tremendously to the ability of local tinkerers/entrepreneurs to play with ideas and put together mock-ups/products. Why is it in Ireland our best bet is still ebay for all this?

Similarly for Google, how much does Google share with the local community to foster innovation?

My impression is that these companies operate in a way that is essentially cut-off from the local communities, doing their thing behind high-walls and not involved in much intercourse with the country. Economically they don't appear to give the steam off their piss, preferring to operate a kind of colonial system of extraction and labour exploitation rather than interface energetically and broadly with the country.

These are impressions only, perhaps I'm wrong. What do you think?
 


Wascurito

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**Bump**

This is an interesting topic. We do well in the innovation stakes internationally.

Making allowances for the fact that other countries attract talent from abroad too, how much of the innovation here is indigenous?

Verifiable facts with links, please - not vague impressions and doomster-mongering.
 

Orbit v2

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google does most of its R&D in the US and a significant amount in other places like London. They have significant operations here, but not R&D as far as I know. Pretty much the same with Intel. Asking Intel to manufacture a custom chip would be like going to Mercedes Benz in Stuttgart and asking them to build a custom car for you. They mass produce particular products, and if you want something custom designed, you go somewhere else.

How useful are those companies for Ireland's innovation culture? There is potential. There are groups in Intel that do some small amount of R&D, but it's a very difficult and complex game. There was a thread recently about how they shutdown such a group recently in Leixlip. I heard about some development work at google that was moved to London also. By and large I suspect Ireland doesn't possess the depth and breadth of skills required for significant amounts of R&D.
 

Erudite Caveman

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As far as I am aware Ireland has some of the most advanced semiconductor microchip manufacturing facilities in the world. Yet if you want to create a custom chip - for example a bitcoin mining chip - everyone has to go to China, have a chat with guys over there and find a fab that will do custom chips/dies at a reasonable price.

If we have such advanced facilities just down the road why aren't we able to communicate with Intel as advisors or actual manufacturers if we have ideas for innovative designs and applications? Why should we have to go to China? Should it not be a government policy to insist as part of Intels' operation that they set aside some facilities for use by local people/businesses that can contribute significantly to local innovation and entrepreneurialism?

Also in China the goods manufactured in the factories appear to spill into the local markets and every kind of device, attachment, spare part etc can be found in markets in its major cities - this adds tremendously to the ability of local tinkerers/entrepreneurs to play with ideas and put together mock-ups/products. Why is it in Ireland our best bet is still ebay for all this?

Similarly for Google, how much does Google share with the local community to foster innovation?

My impression is that these companies operate in a way that is essentially cut-off from the local communities, doing their thing behind high-walls and not involved in much intercourse with the country. Economically they don't appear to give the steam off their piss, preferring to operate a kind of colonial system of extraction and labour exploitation rather than interface energetically and broadly with the country.

These are impressions only, perhaps I'm wrong. What do you think?
The closest thing to insight in the OP.
 

Mad as Fish

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As far as I am aware Ireland has some of the most advanced semiconductor microchip manufacturing facilities in the world. Yet if you want to create a custom chip - for example a bitcoin mining chip - everyone has to go to China, have a chat with guys over there and find a fab that will do custom chips/dies at a reasonable price.

If we have such advanced facilities just down the road why aren't we able to communicate with Intel as advisors or actual manufacturers if we have ideas for innovative designs and applications? Why should we have to go to China? Should it not be a government policy to insist as part of Intels' operation that they set aside some facilities for use by local people/businesses that can contribute significantly to local innovation and entrepreneurialism?

Also in China the goods manufactured in the factories appear to spill into the local markets and every kind of device, attachment, spare part etc can be found in markets in its major cities - this adds tremendously to the ability of local tinkerers/entrepreneurs to play with ideas and put together mock-ups/products. Why is it in Ireland our best bet is still ebay for all this?

Similarly for Google, how much does Google share with the local community to foster innovation?

My impression is that these companies operate in a way that is essentially cut-off from the local communities, doing their thing behind high-walls and not involved in much intercourse with the country. Economically they don't appear to give the steam off their piss, preferring to operate a kind of colonial system of extraction and labour exploitation rather than interface energetically and broadly with the country.

These are impressions only, perhaps I'm wrong. What do you think?
I think we place far too much emphasis on IT anyway. As you say, the big companies are here, they operate behind closed doors, suck up all the available talent (if only to deny it to the competition) and will no doubt relocate tomorrow if it suits them.

Meanwhile, I keep tripping over cases of enterprise in industry that go completely unremarked upon, yet they display a great deal of skill, determination and potential that goes all but ignored by the government. It may be shown that Google et al have some limited benefit but they are by no means the only baby in the bath.
 
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Spanner Island

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I think we place ar too much emphasis on IT anyway. As you say, the big companies are here, they operate behind closed doors, suck up all the available talent (if only to deny it to the competition) and will no doubt relocate tomorrow if it it suits them.

Meanwhile, I keep tripping over cases of enterprise in industry that go completely unremarked upon, yet they display a great deal of skill, determination and potential that goes al but ignored by the government. It may be shown that Google et al have some limited benefit but they are by no means the only baby in the bath.
Considering the impending AI revolution that is on humanity's doorstep I reckon you're dead wrong there.

Tech is going to shape the world in ways that many are going to be uncomfortable with... including myself probably. I'm already uncomfortable with Google and Facebook alghorithms etc., and the extent to which they already control so much.

That is why it's important we try and keep up to speed on all this... and while the MNCs may or may not be doing their really important stuff here... R&D etc... Irish people (and others of course) are benefitting from working in these companies and are picking up knowledge and expertise that they can take away with them if/when they wish to.

And plenty of them are sent Stateside for training etc. which they then bring back here as well.
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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You Illsh velly velly good softwale ploducels.
 

Mad as Fish

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Considering the impending AI revolution that is on humanity's doorstep I reckon you're dead wrong there.

Tech is going to shape the world in ways that many are going to be uncomfortable with... including myself probably. I'm already uncomfortable with Google and Facebook alghorithms etc., and the extent to which they already control so much.

That is why it's important we try and keep up to speed on all this... and while the MNCs may or may not be doing their really important stuff here... R&D etc... Irish people (and others of course) are benefitting from working in these companies and are picking up knowledge and expertise that they can take away with them if/when they wish to.

And plenty of them are sent Stateside for training etc. which they then bring back here as well.
So why lie back and suck it up? It's our future as much as anybody else's? We are going to have to start pointing out that we as individuals own our own lives, yet the the thrust of technology is to deprive us of that basic assumption. As I have pointed out before, often to ignorant derision, the cashless society, autonomous cars and ID cards simply render us units to be managed and controlled. It doesn't have to be like that at all, but we are told that it will be by those who are simply out to make money from it, that's all, it's not about the greater good of the human race, they just pretend it is as the greed gets the better of them.
 

Spanner Island

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So why lie back and suck it up? It's our future as much as anybody else's? We are going to have to start pointing out that we as individuals own our own lives, yet the the thrust of technology is to deprive us of that basic assumption. As I have pointed out before, often to ignorant derision, the cashless society, autonomous cars and ID cards simply render us units to be managed and controlled. It doesn't have to be like that at all, but we are told that it will be by those who are simply out to make money from it, that's all, it's not about the greater good of the human race, they just pretend it is as the greed gets the better of them.
Yeah... that's all great and all... but you're not going to put the tech genie back in its bottle... and if anyone tries it will simply go underground and be more dodgy and more unregulated than it is... and will probably produce more threatening consequences.

Like it or not it's happening and it's probably better to be involved than to be an unwilling victim raging against a machine that ain't going anywhere.
 

Spanner Island

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locke

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suck up all the available talent
There's some truth in this.

If you are a graduate coming out, it's easy to opt for the salaries and certainty of a multi-national rather than do something innovative. However, it beats the situation when I came out of college, when IT graduates mostly ended up working in IT for financial services in London.
 

Mad as Fish

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Yeah... that's all great and all... but you're not going to put the tech genie back in its bottle... and if anyone tries it will simply go underground and be more dodgy and more unregulated than it is... and will probably produce more threatening consequences.

Like it or not it's happening and it's probably better to be involved than to be an unwilling victim raging against a machine that ain't going anywhere.
Technology is not new, it's been around since mankind harnessed fire, it is how it is used that is of concern, and we most certainly should have a say in that.
 
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Who is John Galt?

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So why lie back and suck it up? It's our future as much as anybody else's? We are going to have to start pointing out that we as individuals own our own lives, yet the the thrust of technology is to deprive us of that basic assumption. As I have pointed out before, often to ignorant derision, the cashless society, autonomous cars and ID cards simply render us units to be managed and controlled. It doesn't have to be like that at all, but we are told that it will be by those who are simply out to make money from it, that's all, it's not about the greater good of the human race, they just pretend it is as the greed gets the better of them.
Sez the guy siting at his computer plugged into the electricity mains and supported by the world wide technology industry.
You couldn't make it up!
 

Mad as Fish

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Sez the guy siting at his computer plugged into the electricity mains and supported by the world wide technology industry.
You couldn't make it up!
You might note that I used the phrase - "often to ignorant derision", to which you respond with a classic example of such.
 

Spanner Island

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He is correct and sadly we are doing nothing about it.
I reckon the next great evolutionary step for humanity will be that we will merge with machines.

It will make interstellar travel much more viable if our consciousness is supported by a machine as opposed to our current vulnerable biological form and the life support that is required for that.

As part of a machine we could be shut down for millenia as we travel and then 'booted up' at our destination... which would greatly reduce the time and space and life support barriers we currently face.

It's not a particularly attractive prospect imo... and it would be an entirely different 'existence' to what we do now... but it's where we're probably heading if real interstellar travel is to happen.
 

Who is John Galt?

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I reckon the next great evolutionary step for humanity will be that we will merge with machines.

It will make interstellar travel much more viable if our consciousness is supported by a machine as opposed to our current vulnerable biological form and the life support that is required for that.

As part of a machine we could be shut down for millenia as we travel and then 'booted up' at our destination... which would greatly reduce the time and space and life support barriers we currently face.

It's not a particularly attractive prospect imo... and it would be an entirely different 'existence' to what we do now... but it's where we're probably heading if real interstellar travel is to happen.
Dunno......if politicians get it hard to finance stuff with a five year delivery, how much harder will it be to get projects off the ground with a five thousand year delivery?
 


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