Medical research in Northern Ireland received a boost after an international research and development partnership was extended.
Around $7m has been earmarked for cystic fibrosis research under the US-Ireland R&D Partnership involving the UK, Ireland and the US.
The announcement was made by First Minister Peter Robinson, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and employment minister Sir Reg Empey.
Scientists from the three nations will be able to collaborate on new research areas, after the governments signed a memorandum of understanding.
Sir Reg Empey said his department would be investing over £1.5m across five projects, three involving Queen's University and two with the University of Ulster.
Mr Robinson said: "The R&D Partnership is helping to stimulate higher levels of innovation in Northern Ireland and accelerate both economic development and leading edge medical research."
Mr McGuinness said: "I am confident that in time the activity supported under the partnership will lead to real economic benefits through the creation and exploitation of valuable new products."