A discussion between industry and academic experts exploring the details of the Deal and the opportunities it may provide for the region.
Part of the Imagine Belfast Festival 2021, chaired by Queen’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise Professor Emma Flynn, the panel members of business leaders and academics will pool their collective knowledge of BRCD and the Innovation Strand projects to explore the details of the Deal and the opportunities it will create for Belfast and the surrounding regions.
It is anticipated that the Belfast Region City Deal will deliver more than 20 projects that will help grow the Belfast region’s business strengths in life and health sciences; ICT, digital and creative industries, and advanced manufacturing. It will also support digital development and tourism-led regeneration across the entire region, underpinned by infrastructure developments and investment in skills to connect people to jobs and services.
These projects will help to create new types of jobs for the future, underpinned by re-skilling programmes, by focusing on the region’s competitive strengths. They will also have a positive impact on the most deprived communities, delivering a balanced spread of benefits across the region.
The Deal’s Innovation strand projects have been directly shaped by input from hundreds of companies spanning varied industries. Over the past two years, Queen’s has been working with a broad range of regional companies and with public sector partners, such as the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
The Innovation projects have a central theme of digital, data-driven innovation. As the lockdown periods have brought sharply into focus, this is something companies need to future-proof their business models.
The project buildings will be enablers to take the projects to full scale, and there is a collective effort needed to finalise the Deal this Spring.
Work on BRCD began well before the current Covid-19 emergency, but the levers needed for economic growth haven’t changed: university-industry collaboration remains one of our most powerful tools for stimulating the economy and providing valuable benefits for the wider population. The Innovation projects will not only help to drive recovery, but can help develop distinctive sectoral strengths for the Belfast region and an ambitious vision for drawing in major international partners.