Under fire Invest NI helps software firm create 18 new jobs in Belfast
US software engineering firm iManage has created nearly 20 jobs at a new software centre in Belfast, with the help of funding from Invest NI.
The announcement comes just over a week after the economic development agency came under fire for its performance in attracting foreign direct inward investment during 2015.
iManage, which is based in Chicago, provides work management software for professional services firms like accountants and solicitors.
Invest NI offered the US-based firm £90,000 of support towards the jobs, which will pay around £37,000 each. And 10 of the jobs are already in place, with the remainder to be filled during the next three months.
The roles still to be filled at the new centre at the Northern Ireland Science Park include product architects, developers and support engineers.
Geoff Hornsby, iManage's general manager for Europe, the Middle East and Asia (EMEA), said: "Our aim is to foster this leading edge technology team in Northern Ireland and with support and backing from Invest NI and our globally-respected talent pool, we are well on our way.
"This research and development support centre is focused on advancing technology in the areas of information governance and data security as they pertain to today's work professional.
"We want to enhance and extend our portfolio of products in data security, governance and information management and are pleased to be offering jobs in our Belfast community to help us achieve that objective."
Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton described the company's plans for Belfast as "highly innovative" and a "significant leap forward" for the company.
"The new centre will provide additional valuable employment to Northern Ireland's growing IT sector with 18 jobs and once all of the jobs are in place, will contribute an additional £680,000 in salaries per year to the local economy," he said.
"Northern Ireland is continuing to grow as an attractive place for foreign direct investment and iManage's location here is further proof of our worldwide appeal."
Ian Raine, former vice-president of Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Belfast, will oversee the centre as director of product management and to oversee the centre.
Bernadette McCoy, also formerly of HP in Belfast, is director of engineering.
Research published last week by business advisers EY said the province had secured only 15 FDI projects in 2015, compared to 39 a year earlier.
But Invest NI said during the financial year it "secured 35 inward investment projects" - including investments from firms within the UK.
It added: "This report therefore does not reflect the full picture of FDI success in Northern Ireland last year."
Digital publishing platform HighWire announced 74 jobs in March.