NISP Connect

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Tel: 028 9073 7800

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NISP CONNECT is an independent, non-profit organization fostering entrepreneurship by accelerating the growth of promising technologies and early stage companies.

A collaboration between Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP), the University of Ulster, Queen’s University, Belfast and AFBI (Agri Food & BioSciences Institute), NISP CONNECT acts as an ‘honest, neutral broker’ within the region. NISP CONNECT focuses on:

• research institution support

• business creation and development

• entrepreneurial learning

• access to capital

• public policy advocacy

• awards, recognition and networking

……by mobilizing and leveraging the private sector’s best on a pro-bono basis NISP CONNECT is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland 2007 – 2013 History.

The first CONNECT organisation was started in 1985 at the University of California, San Diego. It was created on the initiative of the local business community and sought to redirect an ailing local economy into the knowledge-based era. Since then, over 2000 new high tech companies and 120,000 new jobs have been created in connection with the San Diego network. In addition, new networks have grown up inside and outside the borders of the US.

Global CONNECT Established in 2003 within UCSD, Global CONNECT seeks to work with regions around the world to understand and further develop their innovation systems. The Global CONNECT membership network then applies the principles of the regional CONNECT model to an international matrix of regions and companies to achieve similar benefits on a global scale.

Today the CONNECT model has been replicated in Scotland, Yorkshire, Midlands UK, Sweden, New Zealand, Jordan, Seattle, Estonia, Norway, Denmark and Taiwan. “… In 1985 an energetic nonprofit called Connect sprang up to link the scientists and inventors at top research institutions — including the University of California at San Diego, the Salk Institute and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute — with investors, advisers and support services so their new ideas could become new products and companies.

The inventive brew that Connect fermented has made San Diego home to a cluster of life-sciences and technology companies such as Qualcomm, Biogen Idec, Life Technologies and Gen-Probe. New York City has had its eye on San Diego’s success and announced its own undertaking in February.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders says, ‘When we emerged out of the period when the defense industry left San Diego, Connect was there. They helped to create eight clusters of technology that have been employment drivers in San Diego, and we’ve been able to build on that ever since.’ In terms of jobs, the region’s technology sector has fared better in this recession than its broader economy …” –TIME Magazine, October 2010

Vision - 20-Year Goal

The transformation of Northern Ireland into one of the most entrepreneurial knowledge economies in Europe Vivid Description NI will create products that become pervasive around the world “Innovated in Northern Ireland” will signify innovation and quality that rivals the most innovative regions anywhere. Any kid from Northern Ireland with talent and ambition can make it big NI’s Culture of collaboration will be the envy of Europe NISP CONNECT’s Core Purpose To make Northern Ireland’s science and tech entrepreneurs more successful Core Values Do what you say you were going to do Do the right thing, always Be opportunistic (If in doubt, do it) Be selfless (Leave your ego at the door) Be bold (Ambition) Have the craic

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