Belfast Telegraph

Queen's £900k boost for engineering sector

By David Elliott

Vince Cable has awarded £900,000 to Queen's University to help it boost the Northern Ireland engineering sector.

The money is part of a £60m total investment by the Business Secretary spread across 31 UK universities which is to be used to help commercialise the best ideas to emerge from the learning establishments.

Queen's has already produced a number of the so-called 'spin-out' companies and it's hoped the funding will produce more, particularly from the engineering sector.

Belfast-based Analytics Engines, established in 2008, is one such firm to emerge from Queen's and its founder welcomed the award.

"Today's announcement is good news for Queen's and for the Northern Ireland business community," chief executive of Analytics Engines Stephen McKeown, said. "For companies like ours, funding of this type means we can bridge the gap between early stage research and reaching industry, and avoid the black hole that many innovations and ideas fall into.

"It is vital that we continue to build a healthy support system for economic growth and I congratulate Queen's on winning."

Queen's pro-vice chancellor Professor James McElnay, said the funding will benefit the Northern Ireland economy.

"The Business Secretary's announcement is the type of support Northern Ireland needs to ensure our brightest scientists and entrepreneurs can create a sustainable and secure path to continued job creation."