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Belfast Region City Deal


We are proud to be leading innovation through the Belfast Region City Deal, an ambitious £1 billion-pound project, working towards a shared vision of inclusive and sustainable economic growth in our region; a deal that delivers more and better jobs, has a positive impact on the most deprived communities and unlocks our future.

The Belfast Region City Deal unlocks £1 billion of transformative co-investment which will deliver more than 20 highly ambitious projects and programmes, create up to 20,000 new, and better, jobs and help make the region a global investment destination over the next decade - in 2030 and beyond.

“I welcome the signing of the Belfast Region City Deal, a momentous occasion for our region and for innovation in Northern Ireland, led by our two universities. At Queen’s we look forward to leading three City Deal innovation projects in advanced manufacturing, clinical research and secure, connected digital technologies, linking at scale into UK and all-Island networks.”

Professor Ian Greer, Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast

Accelerating Economic Growth in our Region

This is an exciting, once-in-a-generation opportunity to accelerate economic growth in Northern Ireland, in an inclusive and sustainable way, and to generate up to 20,000 jobs as the project is delivered over the next decade and beyond.

The Belfast Region City Deal will help to rebalance our local economy and facilitate recovery from the pandemic by

  • building on our competitive strengths;
  • increasing productivity and supporting inclusive skills development;
  • creating more and better jobs.
Other parts of the UK have benefitted from City Deals over the last decade, and are now realising the opportunities and prosperity they generate. Deals for other regional areas in Northern Ireland are to follow shortly, and we will aim to work collaboratively across the entire region to deliver benefits across Northern Ireland.

What is a region city deal?

  1. City Deals are an injection of capital funding from central and regional government.
  2. They fund new physical facilities, and more fundamentally, they create partnerships between public and private sector organisations in the region to drive growth for the people and communities living in them.
  3. They offer a different way of working, and a chance to go beyond the incremental, towards genuine economic transformation.

Inclusive Growth and Impact

The ambitions of the Belfast Region City Deal align with the University's Strategy 2030 demonstrating our commitment to civic leadership and to driving inclusive growth in Northern Ireland. We want to realise the impact of our research and innovation in Northern Ireland. Queen’s has negotiated with the UK and NI governments to secure approval to lead three projects under the Innovation Pillar of the City Deal, and we will develop three Innovation Centres at a scale not delivered before. Find out more about these exciting projects below.

Job Opportunities

At Queen’s, under Belfast Region City Deal’s Innovation Pillar, we are delivering three new Innovation Centres to lead the way for a brilliant new region. As these projects develop, we are looking for talented and enthusiastic people to join the central Belfast Region City Deal programme team at Queen’s, as well as teams across the three Innovation Centres and within wider University departments.

View vacancies


Three Innovation Centres

Queen’s is leading three projects under the Innovation Pillar of the City Deal, which will result in three new Innovation Centres.

Our Centres will take an industry-led approach to build on areas of research strength and respond to today’s challenges. We want to build on areas where we hold a competitive advantage and step up the region’s innovation and digital capabilities.

Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre

Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC)

The Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC) will provide the springboard for manufacturing innovation in NI, 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.

Find out more

Institute of Research Excellence for Advanced Clinical Healthcare

Institute for Research Excellence in Advanced Clinical Healthcare (iREACH)

The Institute for Research Excellence in Advanced Clinical Healthcare (iREACH) is an integrated clinical research centre of excellence, and an NHS, industry, and research facility. It will transform the region’s ability to test new drugs, medical-technology, care pathways and societal interventions. It will leverage the opportunities that exist at the interface of medical research and digital transformation, resulting in better care for patients in a post-Covid world.

Find out more

Global Innovation Institute

Global Innovation Institute (GII)

The Global Innovation Institute (GII) is an innovation centre in digital technologies, applying cyber security, wireless connectivity, artificial intelligence, machine learning and scalable computing approaches to address local, national, and global challenges, both societal and economic. Its primary sectoral focus areas will be in health sciences and agri-food, and expertise across these domains will enable GII to adopt a “Digital One Health” approach – from soil to society – harnessing the secure, connected intelligence.

Find out more

We want to hear from you! Our Innovation Centres are open to ideas and input, to shape their research and innovation agendas. Please contact the relevant Project Delivery Lead to get involved.

Funding and Impact

Research and funding opportunities

Although the City Deal Innovation Pillar does not directly fund research, it does create the opportunities for more research-based partnerships with public, private and third sector organisations. This will strengthen applications for research grants and demonstrate the social and economic impact of research.

There are opportunities for researchers to:
  • contribute to multi-disciplinary projects to tackle challenges which are identified by communities and businesses.
  • connect with organisations that need your research and expertise to under-stand and solve their problems.
  • be part of emerging innovation networks and access collaborative funding based on embedded partnerships that create the next generation of technological advances.
Join our BRCD Hub

Translating research into industry impact

Our Innovation Centres have been developed to serve the needs of businesses, industries and healthcare organisations. Ongoing input and support from partners is critical for their long-term success.

The Innovation Centres will upskill workers to grow the knowledge economy and address skill gaps, supporting culture change and cross-disciplinary problem. The projects are designed to provide people with the kinds of cross-cutting skills that will be needed for the future of work.

There are opportunities for industry, business and healthcare organisations to:
  • alleviate the risk of implementing new technologies using knowledge and expertise.
  • access new research, new facilities, and work with experts in their field to ad-dress the challenges in advanced manufacturing, digital innovation and clinical trials.
  • upskill your workforce to and transform your way of working.
Connect with our Innovation Centres

EY Economists project that the three Queen’s Innovation Centres will deliver:

New jobs
£1.9bn - £2.6bn
Per year in additional GDP
Productivity uplift
Overlooking Belfast from Cave Hill
Research under microscope


Contact the Belfast Region City Deal team at Queen's University for more information, or if you'd like to be involved.

University Rd, Belfast, BT7 1NN