Belfast Telegraph

Royal visit: Day two of Prince Charles in Northern Ireland

Charles kicks off three-day trip to Northern Ireland and Republic by officially unveiling Queen's University's IT research hub at Titanic Quarter

By Ivan Little

A top academic told Prince Charles that thousands of new jobs could be created here as Northern Ireland builds on its reputation as a world leader in the fields of cyber security and information technology.

On day two of his visit to Northern Ireland, Prince Charles will visit Portaferry Presbyterian Church before various other scheduled appointments. Follow his visit here:


On the first part of a three-day visit to the province and the Republic, the prince was told the figure for the new jobs could run into tens of thousands.

The prediction came as the first in line to the throne launched a Global Research Institute for Queen's University at its facility at the Northern Ireland Science Park in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.

Professor John McCanny, director of Queen's Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), said he hoped thousands of jobs would be created.

"The creation of the institute will increase our numbers immediately to 200 with plans to grow to 300 by 2020," he said.

"However, we don't see that as the endgame. We want to build on the success achieved to see if this can be enhanced and replicated further to create thousands and even tens of thousands of new jobs in this region."

Queen's vice-chancellor, Professor Patrick Johnston, said the university was opening up new avenues of research into the big questions and big challenges presented by our increasingly digital world.

He also told how the ECIT had been critical in the establishment of more than 1,000 cyber security-related jobs in Northern Ireland, with Queen's contributing more than £1bn to the Northern Ireland economy.

He said: "It is no surprise the ECIT has been a catalyst for Northern Ireland to become not just a major player in cyber security but also the number one destination for foreign direct investment in the UK, outside of London.

"(It is also why) this place has been recognised as the number one city in the world for research and development in the world of financial technology and also for software technology in Europe.

"As the anchor tenant in the Northern Ireland Science Park, the university is very proud to be laying the secure foundations for the UK's future in digital technologies."

Belfast Telegraph

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.