Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has unveiled a new project linking local and overseas investors with third-level talent in Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the launch of the new Capital Markets Collaboration, the minister said forging closer ties between research, investment and building skills was instrumental for future growth.
The launch was held at the University of Ulster's Magee campus in Londonderry yesterday.
Ms Foster addressed an influential delegation of local companies and existing inward investors, academics and industry experts at the event.
The collaboration, which has been facilitated by Invest NI, has brought five key players in capital markets together with local universities for the first time to boost research capability and skills across the sector.
Belfast firms NYSE Technologies, Citi and Fidessa were joined at the event alongside First Derivatives of Newry and Singularity in Derry. All five have now agreed to work with academic partners from the University of Ulster and Queen's University Belfast.
The minister said: "The capital markets sector is a fast-moving, highly innovative global industry.
"It is a sector which Invest NI continues to target for investment and in recent years has secured major successes by attracting global names to this region. Such investors working in partnership with home grown, internationally respected companies and academia can only deliver further positive benefits to the economy and the sector."
Arlene Foster added that 10 PhD posts will be created and jointly based at the University of Ulster's Intelligent Systems Research Centre at Magee and at Queen's University, to facilitate research and development.
Padraig Canavan, chief executive of Derry firm Singularity, added: "This is a key initiative working in partnership to strengthen the research base and graduate skills within Northern Ireland."