NI has potential to deliver world class innovation - Sir John at NISP
Northern Ireland Science Park is a leading example of innovative success and something to be replicated in the rest of Ireland.
That was the conclusion of visiting Institutes, expert guests and VIPs to Northern Ireland’s first Festival of Innovation.
The Festival was inspired by the first joint gathering of the Royal and Irish Academies of Engineering and the two presidents, Sir John Parker and Dr Tony Barry.
Sir John, former CEO of Harland & Wolff, said: “I am delighted to be back on Queen’s Island and see all the exciting things that are happening here.
“To do so, however, it is essential for science companies, educational institutes and the government to work together – that isn’t happening anywhere else on these islands.”
Sir John and Dr Barry visited the University of Ulster as well as Queen’s University Belfast’s ECIT complex, where they were escorted by Director Professor John McCanny.
“A lot has changed over the past number of years – ECIT are now playing a key role in the development of the advanced technology community,” he said.
The two Presidents led a number of discussions on the vital role of engineering-based innovation in economic recovery, including an Open Discussion on how to integrate research institutions into the NI economy.
Participants recognised that the island has a real opportunity to develop specialisms in researching and developing technology and, in particular, its application to real world issues affecting industry on an international basis.
It was apparent, however, that bodies would need to work together to achieve the scale and funding to make a significant international impact, and that they needed to sell themselves more strongly on the world stage.
One of the highlights of the Festival was the NISP CONNECT 25k Award, which was won by MOF Technologies.
The following day, around 26 local technology companies, including, Intelesens, Wrightbus, Thales, Bombardier, Kainos and Powerscreen attended the Exhibition of Innovation.
This gave visiting Fellows, academics and government, as well as secondary level students from local schools, an opportunity to see the range of exciting technological developments which are happening in NI.