Belfast Telegraph

Foster seeks views on Innovation Strategy

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has today published a draft Innovation Strategy that aims to stimulate research and development (R&D), innovation and creativity across the economy.

The Minister launched the draft strategy on behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive Sub-committee on the Economy.

Announcing a 12 week consultation, Arlene Foster saidThe Northern Ireland Executive has placed innovation at the core of its drive to rebalance the economy.

“Last year, the Executive published an Economic Strategy that outlines a range of actions designed to increase employment and wealth through building a larger and more export-driven private sector. The draft Innovation Strategy seeks to expand upon this priority to enable Northern Ireland to be recognised as one of the UK’s leading high-growth, knowledge-based regions.

“Innovation is critical to our future prosperity because it drives economic growth. Companies who are innovative have seen their employment and sales grow twice as fast as their non-innovating competitors and they are also significantly more productive. This enables firms to stay ahead of competitors and with global economic conditions remaining challenging, the focus on innovation in Northern Ireland is now more important than ever.”

The Innovation Strategy sets out the key long term actions necessary to ensure that innovation plays its full part in realising the vision of the Economic Strategy. It aims to transform and stimulate the step change needed to drive innovation across the economy.

The Minister continued: “In recent years we have seen record expenditure in R&D and many of our companies are continuing to be world leaders in their sector. However, we need to build on this success and support more local companies engage in both innovation and exporting activities.

“This is an ambitious strategy and the challenge of such a transformation should not be underestimated. Its delivery will require collaboration, partnership and leadership from the Executive, business, academia and the third sector. I invite everyone to consider this strategy and offer views on what actions are needed to help transform Northern Ireland into one of the most innovative regions in the UK.”

Notes to editors:

1. A copy of the draft Innovation Strategy can be found at
2. To request an alternative format or additional hard copies, please contact: Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Room 124, Netherleigh, Massey Avenue, Belfast, BT4 2JP

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