28/09/2001

University of Ulster opens £2m Coleraine science park

The University of Ulster has opened the doors of a new £2 million Science Innovation Centre at its Coleraine campus.

The investment, which will create up to 100 jobs, will offer facilities for new biotechnology companies formed through the University’s biomedical research work. The new unit also offers space for new high-technology start-up businesses to grow and establish links with research expertise at University of Ulster (UU).

Speaking at the opening, Professor Gerry McKenna, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ulster, said: “The Science Innovation Centre is a central plank in the University’s integrated technology and knowledge transfer strategy – providing the link between academic research excellence and the creation of new knowledge-based companies.

“This development, coupled with the Science Research Park initiatives, will allow the University of Ulster to help drive the development of the knowledge-based economy in Northern Ireland.

Facilities at the new Park include 18,000 sq ft of accommodation, an IT wing for firms developing software and a bioscience wing, and high tech meeting rooms and cafés.

Tenants so far include Xentox Limited, Causeway Data Communications Limited, Gazer Technologies Limited and Pentillex Solutions Limited.

Dr Chris Barnett, Chief Executive University of Ulster Science Research Park added: “The Science Innovation Centre clearly demonstrates the strength of partnership that exists between the University, local and regional Government and business.

“Northern Ireland will see the benefits from the investments made in these facilities over the coming years as we move to a knowledge-based economy, helping to provide greater job and wealth creation and provide new innovative technologies for our new and traditional resources.”

At the official opening, the University of Ulster signed an Institutional Memorandum of Understanding with North Carolina State University which aims to consolidate their existing partnership on teaching, research, technology transfer and science research park activities.

Professor Jane Place, who attended the launch, said: “This has been a very rapid development by the University, with the establishment of the research park buildings in little more than 12 months. We have established ‘sister park’ status with the University of Ulster to help our companies expand their operations into the European market and vice versa.” (AMcE)

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