The RAF has announced the establishment of an innovation base in Northern Ireland.
The RAF Regional Innovation Node will be based in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter and will act as a conduit for academia and business to engage in research and development into the broader service with a view to growing the supply chain in the region.
Leading representatives from industry, academia, innovation and cyber sectors attended an RAF event on Thursday at Hillsborough Castle, hosted by Air Officer Northern Ireland Air Marshal Sean Reynolds and Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis, for the announcement.
The Air Force Main Board also attended the event, representing the first time it has sat in Northern Ireland.
The Ministry of Defence described increased engagement regionally through RAF Industry Days, which work alongside the Northern Ireland Office, Aerospace, Defence, Security & Space Northern Ireland, Queen’s University, and Invest NI.
The node represents the next stage of this collaboration.
Mr Lewis said: “Investing in Northern Ireland’s exceptionally strong cyber talent pool is a smart move by the Royal Air Force.
“They will benefit from the innovative cyber capabilities that exist here, as well as the vibrant and highly sophisticated advanced engineering sector.
“Northern Ireland is already being positioned as the number one international investment location for US cyber security development projects, and I am delighted that the Royal Air Force are becoming more involved with the NI cyber ecosystem.”