In 2008 the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) was chosen to host one of only seven UK Innovation and Knowledge Centres (IKCs). Funded by EPSRC and Technology Strategy Board, IKCs are a key component of the UK's approach to the commercialisation of emerging technologies through creating early stage critical mass in an area of disruptive technology. Through our Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), leveraging additional support from Invest Northern Ireland, we are achieving this through our world class research, new value and venture creation and entrepreneurial approach in the area of cyber security.
This unique environment encourages collaboration among academics, researchers, engineers, industry and government to accelerate the results of cyber and physical security research through to commercial application.
10 Years of Impact
CSIT's mission 'To couple major research breakthroughs in the field of secure information technologies, with a unique model of innovation to drive economic and societal impact' has not wavered in the last 10 years. Watch this short video to see what CSIT has achieved in from 2009-2019.
Based at Catalyst, in Titanic Quarter, Belfast, this flagship Centre has helped in the attraction of over 100 high-tech Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and start-up companies. These companies employ more than 2,000 people and is evidence of the wider economic benefits to be gained from translating science into wider business and economic opportunity.
The approach adopted within CSIT contrasts with the more conventional way academic research is undertaken. Our starting points tend to be larger “mission-driven” projects involving sizeable teams for which ambitious and challenging end goals have been identified.
We work with a number of large multinational partners including Allstate, BAE Systems, Direct Line Group, Thales, InfoSys and Seagate.
It is fitting that just a few yards away is the dry dock where Titanic was built. The innovative engineering skills of yesterday have given way to those of the future.
Attracting new commercial partners to work with us on these new technologies is fostering international collaboration with leading Institutes in the USA, South Korea, India and Europe. International issues require international solutions and this global innovation hub at CSIT has a unique approach in facilitating speculative blue skies and industrial informed research projects within the same Institute.
This review of the Northern Ireland cyber security ecosystem identifies 104 firms offering cyber security products and services. We estimate that these firms currently employ 2,299 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) cyber security professionals (as of April 2021).
CSIT and Perspective Economics have undertaken this deep-dive research to provide:
- An economic analysis of Northern Ireland’s cyber security market, setting out known cyber security companies within Northern Ireland, and a profile of cyber security employment and economic activity within the region.
- An independent analysis of the NI cyber security sector that considers potential market value (measured in Gross Value Added), and considers local economic impact and growth rates.
- Recommendations to help refine future proposals and provide evidence based assessments of the economic and societal impact of supporting the cyber security ecosystem in Northern Ireland.
We are an international hotspot or cyber security activity, and our firms deliver products, solutions and services to a broad range of markets including national security, government, health, automotive, critical infrastructure, financial services, legal, e-commerce, e-learning and more.
This document has been produced by the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) and Perspective Economics, authored by David Crozier (CSIT), Sam Donaldson, and Conor Tinnelly (PE). It provides a basic overview of the NI Cyber Security Sector.
A full NI Cyber Security Snapshot (2023) will be published in mid-2023, updating the previous 2021 snapshot (available via the QR code.)