City Deal partners present a new webinar series, Innovation Stories

Three months on from the signing of the Heads of Terms on the historic Derry & Strabane City Deal, a new Innovation webinar series is planned for businesses in the North West.

By Claire Cartmill
Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 7:00 am
Peace Bridge
Peace Bridge

Northern Ireland is about to embark on a Decade of Innovation, as set out in the recent publication of the Department for the Economy’s 10X Economy paper.

Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Derry City and Strabane District Council and Ulster University are collaborating on a new webinar series entitled Innovation Stories to showcase and to inspire innovation in the region.

The first event is targeted at businesses, employees considering upskilling and anyone with a stake in the innovation or City Deal agenda. The webinar is hosted by Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and takes place on June 3 2021 at 11am – 11:45am and is entitled, Innovation for Growth.

The webinar will address: Where can the innovation journey begin for industry in the North West? How ambitious should companies be? What supports exist in terms of research and advice.

Dr Justin Quinn, Ulster University and Dr Timothy Patterson, Founder of Heysense Ltd will share their innovation story about their work in CDE Global, Cookstown, Northern Ireland.

Participants will learn more about what support mechanisms exist at Ulster University such as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), a three-way partnership between a business, a university, and a high-calibre graduate known as an associate, that offers a company a chance to collaborate on a business opportunity, idea or innovation to help the business gain the knowledge and capability it needs.

Rosalind Young, Investment Manager at Derry City & Strabane District Council who will present at the webinar, said: “This is an opportune time for local businesses to consider how they will embrace innovation as part of their recovery plan. While Covid-19 has been challenging, it has also demonstrated the resilience, collaborative spirit and the extensive supports that exist for business too. We are encouraging NI business leaders to consider how to tap into the existing research know-how that exists currently on our doorstep at Ulster University’s Magee campus. This webinar which ‘breaks down’ the term ‘innovation into a tangible story and case study, is a ‘way in’ for business people who wish to envision what’s possible. Through the visionary Derry and Strabane City Deal, a whole new innovation eco-system will develop here in the region. The people behind the City Deal are inviting businesses to hear best practice and to leave with an idea of how they will play their part in the Decade of Innovation that is ahead.”

One of the academics and researchers behind the planned, Centre for Industrial Digitalisation, Robotics and Automation (CIDRA), Justin Quinn of Ulster University’s School of Computing Engineering and Intelligent Systems at the Magee campus, added: “With Industry 4.0 upon us, a new form of manufacturing is about to begin which will change the face of industry. It will bring about huge opportunities for the industries who embrace it and challenges for those who do not. Work is underway now to bring about a Centre for Industrial Digitalisation, Robotics and Automation in Derry. We are inviting businesses to consider how they would like to be part of the Derry City Deal. Covid-19 forced many a business to reconsider how they operate, so in many ways we have seen that rapid change is possible. We would like to help companies to begin their innovation journey now so as to be ready to take advantage of centres like CIDRA and CARL when they are in place.”

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