CSIT is a founding partner of Global Ecosystem of Ecosystems Partnership in Innovation and Cybersecurity (Global EPIC)
CSIT is a founding partner of Global Ecosystem of Ecosystems Partnership in Innovation and Cybersecurity (Global EPIC)

Global EPIC Soft-Landing – Northern Ireland

Keystone: The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT)

Are you a cyber security company seeking to further develop your innovative solutions and gain access to a talent pool?  Northern Ireland has emerged as a world-leading cyber security hub, with specialist university research, an impressive cluster of international companies, and innovative start-ups delivering solutions globally. This is all carried out in a supportive environment where government, academia and industry all work together to ensure a policy framework [1] is in place to support a strong skills pipeline, novel technologies, Grade A office space and investment specifically for the cyber security industry.

Companies in the region deliver expertise on advanced persistent threats to national security, critical infrastructure, networks, capital markets and web applications. Belfast is the leading destination city globally for US FDI cyber security development projects [2]. Recent investors include Anomali, Synopsis [Black Duck Software], WhiteHat Security, Rapid7, Proofpoint and Alert Logic.

The Global EPIC Soft-Landing programme offers small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the other Global EPIC keystones a unique opportunity to ‘soft land’ for a trial period in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland offers inward investors one of the most attractive support packages available in Europe:

  • Revenue grants towards start-up costs, interest relief, factory rental costs, training costs, marketing development costs and R&D. R&D capital spending can be written off against income.
  • Pre-employment training grants.
  • Employment grants.
  • Presence of Northern Ireland Cyber security cluster with 40+ member companies employing 1,400+ cyber security professionals:
  • CSIT, the Centre for Secure IT, is the UK’s largest cyber security research centre.
  • OWASP Belfast boasts over 1,000 members [3]
  • Finance investment in the share capital of a company and government loans at commercial and concessionary rates.
  • 1 hour from London.
  • Highly educated and multilingual workforce.
  • People born in Northern Ireland can choose to be British citizens, Irish citizens or both. If they choose to be both British and Irish citizens, this means they have a dual citizenship and are able to hold both Irish (EU) and British passports. ​
  • Excellent quality of life


Northern Ireland – United Kingdom

Northern Ireland is one of the four constituent nations of the United Kingdom. With a population of 1.8 million people, the region is 13,600 sq km in size, accounting for six per cent of the total UK land area. Northern Ireland’s population is one of the youngest in Europe, with 53 per cent of the population under the age of 40. The people of Northern Ireland are also among the happiest in the United Kingdom, with Fermanagh recently identified as the happiest place in the UK.

Northern Ireland’s education system is among the best performing in Europe. According to a recent major survey, Northern Ireland is the best performing education system for primary maths in Europe, and the sixth best in the world. Some 77 per cent of school leavers go to further and higher education. Supporting these academic achievements are two world leading universities, Queen’s University, Belfast and Ulster University.

Building on the region’s rich industrial heritage Northern Ireland’s economy continues to perform well in the current economic climate. The unemployment rate currently stands at 3.2 per cent, below the UK, Republic of Ireland and EU averages. Belfast is the world’s top destination city for fintech development inward investment projects. This success has led to almost 900 international companies employing around 100,000 people setting up in the region. Expenditure on research and development, and levels of entrepreneurship are on the rise.

Northern Ireland’s excellent business credentials are supported by strong and resilient infrastructure. The region has the highest availability of superfast broadband in the UK and there are daily flights to London. Belfast is only one hour from London by air and two hours from Dublin by rail and road.

Facts and figures:

10 reasons to invest in Northern Ireland

Invest Northern Ireland Cyber Security Information


The Centre for Secure Information Technologies

The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), Queen’s University Belfast, is the UK’s Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) for cyber security, and the UK’s largest cyber security focused university technology research, development and innovation centre. The theme of CSIT’s research roadmap is securing our digital tomorrow. CSIT will continue to lead on the new enabling technologies needed for the seamless integration of electronic security into future Smart Cities and Internet of Things (IoT), including: 

•           quantum-safe cryptographic architectures;

•           malware detection methods that can counteract advanced evasion technologies;

•           securing highly distributed networks for critical infrastructures; and

•           AI-enabled security analytics to provide to real-time threat indicators

CSIT brings a unique approach to academic engagement and delivering impact with industry in the UK and further afield. An Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) of companies and strategic government partners plays a key role in defining the research challenges undertaken by CSIT, whilst a cadre of industrially experienced engineers help accelerate innovation to market. This creates collaborative opportunities for researchers to work with start-ups, scale-ups and large corporations and on solving societal challenges. CSIT is involved in delivering four national cyber security innovation programmes namely; The London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA), CSIT Labs, HutZero and Cyber101.

The Soft-Landing Programme offers (at no cost to you):

  • A meeting space at CSIT
  • A tailor made support package for each individual soft landing project.
  • Tailored support packages include cash grants for capital investments and employment, interest relief plus support for a variety of business operations such as R&D, training and marketing.
  • Invitation to NI Cyber cluster meetings
  • Support in accessing financial resources, engaging strategic partners, and refining business models for market opportunities in the UK.
  • Greater exposure to UK and global partners and opportunities to pursue clients.
  • Advice on market circumstances, academic engagements, immigration considerations and other practical issues.


For more information about the possibilities of soft-landing in Northern Ireland and how to join this programme, please contact David Crozier via

A Global EPIC initiative.

[1] Department of Finance: Cyber Security - A Strategic Framework for Action

[2] FT fDi Markets 2017