About Us

EngageNI is a pilot online service to enable NI businesses access sector-specific knowledge and innovation services that are available from both University and Further Education sources in the region.

Businesses in Northern Ireland must increasingly compete in a global marketplace in which countries such as China, India, Russia and other emerging economies continue to drive global growth. As a small open regional economy, the challenge facing Northern Ireland businesses is to increase productivity and develop high value innovative products and services for niche markets.

Local Universities and Further Education Colleges are increasingly seen as an important source of knowledge and play a central role in the regional innovation ecosystem that supports the economic development of local business.

This online pilot has been developed though collaboration between Queen’s University Belfast and Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC) and builds upon both institutions’ strong track records in the provision of business and community engagement services.  Support was provided by JISC, the UK body that champions the use of digital technology to drive innovation in UK education and research.

The initial themes for the pilot are areas identified as key to the development of Northern Ireland’s future knowledge based economy by MATRIX (The Northern Ireland Science Industry panel).

Background

U.K. national and the regional policy in Northern Ireland for Further and Higher Education is to increase collaboration with business not only in education and training but also in third stream activities of Knowledge Exchange and Knowledge Transfer.

The objective of this project is to investigate and address key local economic challenges and develop an online demonstrator to act as a provisioning framework for the delivery of regional sector-specific joined-up knowledge and information services.

Aims

The aim of the project is to provision a pilot demonstrator to enable the creation of short term dynamic organisations to collaborate and create sector specific online services. Such a service may target a specific area e.g. “Low Carbon Economy” and may integrate information on say, specific HE related projects, external funding information, descriptions of available FE technical expertise, Intellectual Property available for licensing, related projects and related training capabilities.

Additional objectives include

  • Define a unified model to document institutional assets
  • Identify proven mechanisms to support identity management
  • Intuitive and easy to use service interface
  • Investigate legal and contractual issues