A new £58m technology and innovation hub could to open its doors by 2025, it has been revealed.
The Global Innovation Institute is an expansion of Queen’s University’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) and will house more than 550 experts at its Titanic Quarter site.
The plans form part of the overall Belfast Region City Deal initiative – an overall £1bn worth of investment across Belfast and five other local councils.
“Over the last 10 years, Queen’s University has helped to put Northern Ireland on the map for digital innovation,” Professor Maire O’Neill, director of ECIT, says.
“Over the next decade, we have ambitious plans as we begin our evolution to a Global Innovation Institute as part of the Belfast Region City Deal. This is a huge opportunity for the people of Northern Ireland and all of our industry partners.
“The £58m investment will see an expansion of our existing ECIT building and we will have more than 550 researchers based at the Institute. This will be a mix of researchers who are already based at ECIT, as well as new posts and others who will be co-locating from a wide range of companies and external partners.
“This team of researchers will build on our core expertise across cyber-security, advanced wireless technologies, data science/analytics. In a multi-disciplinary environment, our skilled workforce will include experts from many sectors who will be developing research in areas such as health data, agri-food and fintech.”
The fresh announcement was made during the Secure Connected Intelligence Summit 2022 at ECIT.
Addressing the event, Finance Minister, Conor Murphy said: “This new £58m Global Innovation Institute is a significant boost to the local economy.
“The innovation centre will create jobs and enhance our reputation as a centre of excellence. This project demonstrates how collaboration between government, local councils, universities and industry can be transformative and bring greater prosperity and opportunities.”
And Economy Minister, Gordon Lyons, said: “My Department's 10X Economic Vision sets an ambition to see Northern Ireland amongst the most competitive and innovative small economies in the world. We have an incredibly rich heritage of innovation, and this innovation, including the multidisciplinary research which is strongly demonstrated here at ECIT, is key to Northern Ireland’s prosperity as it is a fundamental driver of productivity and competitiveness.
“I am pleased to note ECIT's evolution in becoming the Global Innovation Institute, a £58m project funded under the Belfast Region City Deal and Queen’s University Belfast. The Global Innovation Institute will build on the capability that has been developed in ECIT through nearly £10m of funding from Invest Northern Ireland which has, in turn, leveraged a further £68.5m in funding since 2010.”