A city or growth deal is a bespoke package of funding and decision-making powers negotiated between government and local authorities. They're aimed at helping to harness additional investment, create new jobs and speed up inclusive economic growth.
Over the next few years, Northern Ireland will benefit from a package of investment from four city and growth deals. The combined funding from the Northern Ireland Executive and UK government will total £1.3bn, which will be complemented by private sector and other sources of funding.
These significant deals will help create global centres of innovation excellence in key growth sectors. They will provide opportunities for businesses, located both in and outside Northern Ireland, to collaborate and tap into the world-leading expertise of our universities to create breakthrough technologies, products and services. Additionally, they will develop the infrastructure and test environments that will allow the next generation of products to be tested and trialled.
Belfast Region City Deal
The following centres of excellence are being developed under the innovation pillar:
Global Innovation Institute (GII)
GII will be a nexus for co-innovation between researchers and industry in data security, connectivity and analytics. In an increasingly connected world, with vast amounts of data, the need for secure and connected intelligence will become ever more critical.
GII will provide the opportunity for local and international companies, entrepreneurs and researchers to come together in a multi-disciplinary innovation environment.
Centre for Digital Healthcare Technology (CDHT)
CDHT will be an exemplary centre for digital technology and associated living labs in the areas of cardiology, diabetes, respiratory and stroke.
CDHT will provide the forum for academia, industry and clinicians to come together to lead on research focused on many of the world’s key health challenges, including rising healthcare costs and healthy ageing.
Institute for Research Excellence in Advanced Clinical Healthcare (iREACH)
iREACH is a collaboration between academia, industry, the NHS and government to create a unique ecosystem for testing new drugs through their development life cycle and integration into care pathways.
iREACH will strengthen the Belfast region’s capability for clinical trials, and increase capacity to take on larger and more complex trial studies.
Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC)
AMIC will be the springboard for manufacturing innovation in the region.
AMIC will operate at the interface between academia and industry and will ensure that real-world industrial challenges based on market need are solved through innovative research.
Studio Ulster (formerly Screen Media Innovation Lab (SMIL))
The vision for Studio Ulster is to become established as a ‘Tier 1’ centre of excellence in R&D and innovation in Virtual Production, a rapidly developing suite of technologies and methodologies for screen content production, where the physical and digital worlds meet.
Derry~Londonderry and Strabane Region City Deal
The following projects are being developed under the innovation, digital and health theme:
Centre for Industrial Digitisation, Robotics and Automation (CIDRA)
CIDRA will have highly specialist robotics equipment and an ideas factory for R&D for new businesses and will assist companies develop in the expertise needed to compete in the 4th industrial revolution.
This state-of-the-art facility will be a dedicated demonstration space for robotics, automation and AI, and an experimentation and skills development industry hub.
Cognitive Analytics Research Lab (CARL)
CARL will deliver world-class cognitive analytics research capability that can be applied to a range of sectors, including health, fintech, media, energy and public policy.
The lab will work at the intersection of AI and big data and have a high-performance computing facility, servers, laboratories and offices.
Transformation for Healthcare Research Innovation and Value-Based Ecosystem (THRIVE)
THRIVE is a visionary healthcare project that will meet urgent local and global healthcare needs by embracing the potential of personalised medicine.
THRIVE will feature several different elements:
- A healthcare research institute
- A community-owned healthcare company
- Undertake life-changing research in areas including cancer and stroke
- Complete steps towards the transformation of the health service.
Mid South West Growth Deal
Mid South West has set out a strategy for a number of potential projects. These include further development of critical road infrastructure; the implementation of a skills action plan; the development of an innovation and skills academy through the South West College and an agri-food robotics centre, at CAFRE Loughry Campus; as well as the development of a life and health science opportunity; delivery of a Mid South West destination tourism experience; and, further development of cross-border assets such as the Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark.
Causeway Coast and Glens Growth Deal
Causeway Coast and Glens is set to receive £72m capital funding for a growth deal after the Northern Ireland Executive agreed to match fund the UK government's growth deal allocation. This deal has identified six key themes/ sectors to help grow the local economy and covers:
- Tourism and regeneration
- Employability and skills
- Digital connectivity
- Energy / green economy
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Why Northern Ireland?Northern Ireland is home to more than 1,100 international companies and is an ideal location for business expansion. We also have experienced exporters whose globally recognised products and services can be found in over 100 countries.
Invest in Northern IrelandThe reasons why so many global companies choose Northern Ireland include talent availability, excellent infrastructure, cost-effectiveness and a supportive, business-friendly environment.
Our sectorsNorthern Ireland has expertise across a range of sectors, including digital technologies such as fintech, cyber security, and AI; in advanced manufacturing sectors like aerospace and materials handling and across a wide range of professional services.