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New 'think tank' to help influence region's economic policy

By Clare Weir

A renowned economist is to head up a new research centre at the University of Ulster reviewing the performance of the Northern Ireland economy.

Professor Neil Gibson is a former student of the university who for the past five years has been a director of Oxford Economics.

He is also a well-known media commentator on the Northern Ireland economy.

In his new role, which he will take up in the new year, he will head the Northern Ireland Centre for Economic Policy (NICEP) which will be based at the Ulster Business School and will regularly assess the state of the economy as well as informing and critiquing Northern Ireland Executive policies. NICEP will initially be based at the Jordanstown campus but will transfer to the new Belfast City campus when it opens in 2018.

Professor Gibson said it was a great honour to be appointed to the role.

"The economic challenges facing Northern Ireland are profound and, as such, it is the right time to be thinking carefully about the policies required to transform the economy into one that delivers for all of its citizens," he said.

"Helping to educate the leaders of tomorrow, working with policy makers to understand and address issues and making a genuine contribution to the performance of the Northern Ireland economy are the key goals for NICEP," said Professor Gibson.


From Belfast Telegraph