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A Transformative and Sustainable Economy

The economy of the next 100 years will be a necessarily different one to the economy we experience today. The ongoing climate crisis, our fossil fuel dependency, raw material shortages and the possibility of supply chain disruptions call for innovative, responsible and sustainable solutions.

For researchers at Queen’s, the strategic priorities and expertise are clear.  We will continue to focus our efforts on established and emerging areas such as intelligent manufacturing and service delivery, advanced and sustainable materials, solutions to future transport requirements, understanding and harnessing high energy and ultra-fast processes, the creative industries, economic growth and the role of financial markets and institutions.

We also understand that successful and sustainable economies are about people as well as products. They must be underpinned by intercultural and international understanding, equal access to opportunity, and social justice at all levels.


Impact Case Studies

Acceleration of Big Data Applications - Analytics Engines

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy, Secure Connected Intelligence – AI and the Data Revolution

Research into software for accelerating signal and data processing solutions has resulted in the development of state-of the-art data analytics software that leverages connected technology to deliver better insights and outcomes for users.

This technological breakthrough led to the creation of Analytics Engines, a spinout from Queen’s University which specialises in data integration, machine learning, AI, in-depth analytics and visualisations.

The bespoke software solutions can be applied across a diverse range of sectors including healthcare, trade, finance and digital infrastructure.

Blow moulding research leads to hi-tech spin out company

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy

Researchers at Queen’s have developed unique stretch blow moulding technology which has been implemented by leading brands and manufacturers, resulting in multi-million-pound savings in materials and process costs, and in annual savings of greenhouse gas emissions measured in the thousands of tonnes.

The research has led to the formation of a successful spin out-company, Blow Moulding Technologies (BMT), which supplies software, services, and hardware globally across the packaging sector.  This technology has been a key enabler in the introduction of new bio-based materials into the global plastics packaging market.

Building on the success of mercury capture to drive change in the petroleum industry

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy

HycaPure™ is an ionic liquid which removes mercury contaminants from natural gas. The technology was developed in a partnership between Queen’s University Ionic Liquid Laboratories (QUILL) and PETRONAS, the national oil and gas company of Malaysia.

In 2012 the first commercial scale pilot HycaPure™ system was launched, and by 2017, thirteen full industrial HycaPure™ systems had been installed in PETRONAS processing plants, constituting a huge processing capacity.

Subsequently, ongoing research links between QUILL and Petronas has provided a mechanism for the company to begin to move the focus of their research away from traditional oil and gas, as seen in their new £2,400,000 joint programme on innovative low carbon technologies.

Delivering Next generation nano-photonic devices with Seagate Technologies

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy

Queen’s University researchers are working to deliver the next generation of nano-photonic devices in partnership with Seagate Technologies in an initiative that is driving significant inward investment to Northern Ireland.

The partnership has led to the creation of the Smart Nano NI Consortium which has been awarded over £60m to develop new technology for medical devices, communication and data storage.

Developing a product range for the treatment of Bovine Digital Dermatitis

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy, Human-Environment Relations

Researchers at Queen’s have collaborated with animal healthcare provider Provita Eurotech Ltd in the development of a suite of treatments for bovine digital dermatitis, a condition that affects at least 70% of cattle herds in the United Kingdom.

Increasing the efficiency and safety of global clean fuel production

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy

Researchers at Queen’s have provided long-term research expertise to Chevron, the second largest oil company in America, to support the development of ISOALKYTM Technology, a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to hydrofluoric acid (HF). The technology represents the most significant development in alkylate gasoline production in 75 years, positively impacting the global production of clean fuels for decades to come.

Making a Major Contribution to Women’s Electoral Representation on the island of Ireland

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy

Research conducted in Queen’s University by Professor Yvonne Galligan on women’s political representation has played an important role in the introduction of mandatory gender quotas in general elections in the Republic of Ireland.

Making banking crisis proof: Helping the Bank of England and financial analysts learn from past crises

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy, Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

Researchers at Queen’s have carried out work focusing on historical financial crises to help shed light on why they happen and what we can do to prevent them in the future.

The research has had a beneficial impact on policy-making, professional practice, and the historical awareness and knowledge of staff at the Bank of England. It has also had a beneficial impact on the non-academic study of business history and has reached tens of thousands of financial analysts.

The impact of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT)

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy, Secure Connected Intelligence – AI and the Data Revolution

The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) is a national cybersecurity research institute based at Queen’s emphasising research excellence combined with a unique model for, and focus on, commercialisation and innovation.

CSIT plays a key role in Northern Ireland’s cybersecurity ecosystem through the development of incubator programmes, start-ups and attracting foreign direct investment which had led to the creation of approximately 1600 jobs in this sector.

The Social and Solidarity Economy and Local Development

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy, Inclusive and Cohesive Communities

A Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) is a model of society based on harmonious local development and fair commercial relationships. Researchers from Queen’s University’s School of Natural and Built Environment were asked to explore the potential of the SSE in Belfast as an alternative site of community mobilization and inclusive economics.

The sun as we've never seen it before - clearest and most detailed images of the Sun revealed

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy, Human-Environment Relations

Researchers from Queen’s University Astrophysics Research Centre (ARC) have worked with Oxford Instruments’ Andor Technology to develop the Balor sCMOS imaging sensor and synchronisation platform, a device which captures the highest resolution solar images in the world, enabling scientists to study the sun’s atmosphere in unprecedented detail.

Towards Zero Emission Public Buses

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy

Researchers from Queen’s, in collaboration with Wrightbus have developed best-in-class low and zero emissions technologies playing a key role in decarbonising UK and international public transport.

Unlocking the secrets of the past with a new international carbon dating standard

A Transformative and Sustainable Economy, Human-Environment Relations

Researchers at Queen’s have led a team of international scientists in improving the technique for assessing the age of historical objects through the development of IntCal radiocarbon carbon calibration curves, a new international carbon dating standard, shedding new light on archaeological and environmental phenomena of our past.

Research Topics
  • Intelligent manufacturing and service delivery
  • Advanced and sustainable materials
  • Future transport
  • Sustainable energy and manufacturing
  • Understanding the extremes - high energy and ultra-fast processes
  • Gender and Leadership

Driving Innovation in Advanced Manufacturing through the Belfast Region City Deal

The Queen’s led Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre will provide the springboard for manufacturing innovation in Northern Ireland, providing a specialised environment for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering sectors to access the very latest manufacturing technology and Industry 4.0 smart automation, supported by experienced, professional engineers and a state-of-the-art Factory of the Future.

AMIC builds on 50 years of sustained Queen's innovation and industry support through the Northern Ireland Technology Centre (NITC), the Polymers Processing Research Centre (PPRC) and the more recent university-industry partnership, NI Advanced Composites and Engineering (NIACE), and will consolidate and enhance these existing facilities.