Innovation will drive Northern Ireland’s economic growth

20 June 2012

Institute of Physics response to the ETI Committee Inquiry into Developing the Northern Ireland Economy through Innovation, Research and Development.

Scientist working on technical equipment

The Institute of Physics in Ireland has welcomed the recent report by the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment into developing the Northern Ireland economy through innovation, research and development.

Commenting on the report, IOPI Chairman, Kevin McGuigan noted ”that there is a significant need to rebalance the Northern Ireland economy by increasing economic growth and promoting new investment. Policymakers and economists are generally in agreement that innovation is a major driver of growth and a critical aspect of innovation is physics.”

The Institute particularly welcomed the inclusion in the report’s recommendation for a new structure to integrate and co-ordinate all innovation and R&D activity together as well as the introduction of the Small Business Research Initiative across government departments.

As highlighted in the IOPI’s submission to the committee and by others such as Invest NI, Dr. McGuigan also supported the recommendation to explore the benefits of establishing a science steering group and the appointment of a Northern Ireland Science Advisor. ”With science and research crossing many government departments it is imperative that the government has a strong and coherent  approach to all aspects of it from schools, academia and industry.”