The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) has invested $5m (€4.2m) in a data centre provider that has pioneered new environmentally friendly cooling technology.

The €8bn sovereign wealth fund’s investment will back US firm Nautilus Data Technologies’ expansion into Ireland, according to an announcement yesterday.

The money formed part of a $26m fundraising for the company, which is led by CEO James Connaughton, a former adviser to US president George W Bush.

Nautilus’ data centres are situated on or near water, and the company has claimed they are “substantially” cheaper and more energy efficient than other data storage methods, primarily due to a patented method of water cooling for the servers its uses.

“Its technology eliminates the large volumes of water and chemical consumption associated with traditional data centre construction and operations, delivering significant cost savings alongside substantial environmental benefits,” ISIF said in its statement.

Paul Saunders, the ISIF’s head of innovation and special investments, said the allocation “demonstrates the fund’s ability to back cutting-edge, clean technology that will place Ireland at the forefront of data centre design”.

It also fitted with the ISIF’s “double bottom line” strategy of sourcing commercial returns while supporting Ireland’s economy, the fund said. Nautilus is expected to generate “up to $40m” of annual revenue once at full capacity, as well as bring in new jobs.

behind every cloud is a data center