Belfast Telegraph

Game of Thrones helping Northern Ireland innovate - but advancement behind rest of UK, study finds

Despite the Game of Thrones influence, NI is lagging behind in UK innovation.
Despite the Game of Thrones influence, NI is lagging behind in UK innovation.
Belfast Harbour Studios.

Northern Ireland is the least innovative region in the UK, according to new research.

However, production of Game of Thrones has helped slow decline in advancements

A survey conducted by the Office of National Statistics showed that 39% of Northern Ireland businesses were "innovation active" between 2014 and 2016, down from 45% in the three years previous.

The UK average was 49%, while the most innovative region was the South West at 52%.

Businesses are considered to be "innovation active" if they create new or significantly improved products, engage in innovation projects or introduce new forms of organisation, business structures or marketing ideas.

The most innovative sectors in Northern Ireland were the manufacturing industry and the motion picture and video production sector.

The latter has been highlighted in recent years by the success of the film industry in the province, in particular that of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones.

Market conditions were cited as the main reason for a lack of business innovation.

Last month, a survey by business advisory firm KPMG found that most Northern Ireland bosses want their employees to feel they can try to innovate without worrying about negative consequences.

John Hansen, partner in charge of KPMG Northern Ireland, said: "Successful chief executives know they need their companies to be as innovative as possible and it's clear that the right environment is being created in Northern Ireland to do just that.

"Our leaders aren't afraid to give their teams the scope to try new ideas which may have a risk of failure and that opens up a world of potential.

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