Province leaps into information age

“The Information Age Initiative has supported Northern Ireland business in ‘leapfrogging’ into a new era,” the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Sir Reg Empey has said.

According to an Information Age Initiative (IAI) report in 1995 there was just over 6,360 people employed in the ICT sector and now, despite global difficulties with the sector, there are now 12,200 ICT employees.

In June 1999, only 40% of businesses had access to Internet technology but today 90% of all Northern Ireland businesses use the Internet.

“The Information Age Initiative sought to increase the use of ICT by all business, to support the rapid development of the ICT sector and to create an improved environment for the growth of the Knowledge Based economy,” the Minister told business delegates on Thursday May 2.

“As the IAI’s final report clearly demonstrates, excellent working and strategic alliances have been formed across the private, public and academic sectors to create and capitalise on Information Age opportunities for local businesses.”

Professor Fabian Monds, who is also Chairman of Invest NI said: “Our Final Report, published today, clearly demonstrates the enthusiasm, creativity and dynamism that exists in Northern Ireland.

“It also offers Invest Northern Ireland a suggested strategic way forward approach to address the needs of Northern Ireland business in the Information Age.”

Professor Monds added: “In considering the strategic way forward the IAI Board have sought to adapt the widely recognised connectivity chain model to make it more representative of the ever changing information age environment. To achieve this we have added a new level to the Connectivity Chain – that of business ecosystem.

“This new level enables Northern Ireland businesses to consider the vertical and horizontal integration of ICTs not only on an individual company basis but also through supply chains and within industry clusters. The Board strongly believes that this new level can offer competitive advantage for Northern Ireland companies and will further our progress towards an exemplar knowledge-based economy.”


Related Northern Ireland Business News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 July 2012
Northern Hydraulics Engineers Investors In People Success
Coalisland precision engineering company Northern Hydraulics is one of 37 organisations from across Northern Ireland today awarded with the prestigious Investors in People (IiP) accreditation. Dr Stephen Farry, Minister for Employment and Learning, congratulated those receiving the business award at a celebration event held in Hillsborough Castle.
06 November 2015
Council Hosts 'Small Business Saturday Bus Tour'
Belfast City Council hosted the 'Small Business Saturday Bus Tour' at City Hall on Thursday, 05 November, which is touring the UK to highlight small business success and encourage people to 'shop local'.
15 March 2013
Texam Develops Business Partnership In Germany
Texam in Lisburn, a specialist in the design, manufacture and installation of conveyor systems, has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop a business partnership in Germany. The Northern Ireland company used the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) at as part of a drive to grow sales abroad.
26 October 2011
Hamilton Reiterates Support For Small Businesses
Strangford DUP MLA Simon Hamilton has told an audience of business people in Lisburn that the Stormont Assembly must maintain its support for Northern Ireland's small business sector during these difficult times.
24 October 2001
Northern Ireland is Best for Business in the UK
The Business to Business Bridge Programme, part of the Northern Ireland Business in the Community initiative, has been voted Best for Business in the UK. The programme picked up the top award at the national final of the One 2 One Best for Business competition.