Belfast Telegraph

Minister Arlene Foster in new plan to grow innovation

By Clare Weir

A new strategy aims to make Northern Ireland one of the UK’s leading high-growth regions by 2025 through innovation.

Launching the Innovation Strategy for Northern Ireland, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said that innovation was the key driver of economic growth and that companies who innovate are more productive, employ more staff and have a greater propensity to export.

“In an increasingly globalised world, increasing investment in research and innovation is essential not just to boost our economic competitiveness, but to make tangible improvements to our quality of life,” she said.

“In just a few short years we have made significant strides in improving Northern Ireland’s research and development performance with expenditure by the private sector now above the UK average, but we need to see many more companies across all industries engage in innovation and raise our game.”

She added that a new approach to innovation was required across all sectors of our economy including businesses, academia and the voluntary and community sector.

“Underpinning the new Innovation Strategy is the need for a significant cultural change in how we view innovation,” she said.

The Innovation Strategy includes more than 50 actions which include greater prioritisation of R&D funding, enhanced support for entrepreneurs, and increased investment in research and innovation infrastructure, as well as increasing collaboration between academia and business.

Belfast Telegraph