28/01/2005

NI needs to build on innovation for economic success

Northern Ireland needs to build on its traditions of innovation to ensure future economic success, Queen's University Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson has said.

The Vice-Chancellor was speaking during a visit by Lord Alex Broers, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, to one of the University's flagship research centres - ECIT, the Queen's Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology in Titanic Quarter.

He told the audience of distinguished engineers: "Northern Ireland needs to open up new avenues through which innovative ideas can be transformed into business results, and it needs to have faith in the imagination, ability and creativity of its people."

And he cited ECIT, which matches world-class research with commercial opportunities, as an example of innovation in practice.

He continued: "This new Institute, on the site of Belfast's industrial past, is a symbol of Northern Ireland's emergence as a global centre of excellence in advanced digital and communications technology.

"It is also a role model of innovation, ideally placed to make a major contribution to Northern Ireland's continuing economic development."

The Royal Academy of Engineering, of which both Professor Gregson and ECIT Director Professor John McCanny are Fellows, brings together over 1200 distinguished engineers from all engineering disciplines and aims to “promote excellence in engineering for the benefit of the people of the UK”.

(MB)

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