Geoscience Ireland (GI) is a successful cluster of companies brought together in response to the economic crisis of 2009. Geological Survey Ireland and Enterprise Ireland along with a reference group of five companies delivering geoscience advisory services to infrastructure and extractive industries came together in 2010 to arrest the resulting acute job losses in the sector.

In order to save and create valuable and skilled jobs, it was clear that geoscience skills developed in the Irish market needed to be sold into international markets. Growth of overseas markets allows for greater resilience and increased scale for Irish companies. Initial focus was on work flowing from International Financial Institutions, mainly in Sub Saharan Africa; this led to GI’s collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

It was also clear that collaboration between Irish small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) was essential in order to win large international contracts. In order to foster and develop this collaboration, GI was placed on a more formal basis in 2012 with the appointment of a full time Business Development Director based in Geological Survey Ireland (GSI). Since then, the target markets and sectors have widened considerably to include infrastructure development in the Gulf, the Balkans, the UK and the Nordics. Membership has expanded to include contractors and the Irish offices of large international consultants and GI is now a network of 40 companies delivering integrated expertise in water, minerals, environmental, infrastructure in over 70 countries.

The GI network is founded on a belief in the value of shared effort, selective collaboration, industry leadership, client focus, innovation, combined resources and stakeholder support. The ambition is help each Member Company achieve greater business success, increase employment and make each company a “great place with which to do business”.