Collaboration to secure future of NI Capital Markets sector

Jun 22, 2011

Photo: Press Eye Photography

Pictured at the launch are (L-R): Professor Deirdre Heenan, Provost and Dean of Academic Development for the University of Ulster, Magee, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Padraig Canavan, CEO, Singularity.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has underlined the importance of collaboration, research, investment and skills development in the growth of Northern Ireland’s Capital Markets industry.

Speaking at the official launch of the Capital Markets Collaboration at the University of Ulster’s Magee Campus, Londonderry today, Arlene Foster addressed an influential delegation of local companies and existing inward investors, academics and industry experts.

The collaboration which has been facilitated by Invest NI, has brought five key players in capital markets together with local universities for the first time to boost research capability and skills across the sector. NYSE Technologies, Belfast; Citi, Belfast; First Derivatives, Newry; Fidessa, Belfast and Singularity, Belfast and Londonderry, will work with academic partners from the University of Ulster and Queen’s University Belfast.

The Minister said: “The Capital Markets sector is a fast moving, highly innovative global industry. It is a sector which Invest NI continues to target for investment and in recent years has secured major successes by attracting global names to this region. Such investors working in partnership with home grown, internationally respected companies and academia can only deliver further positive benefits to the economy and the sector.

“A wide range of important activities will be undertaken by the collaboration, including the development of new, highly advanced capital markets software and technologies, and the further development of key sector skills.”

Arlene Foster continued: “Ten PhD posts will be created and jointly based at the University of Ulster’s Intelligent Systems Research Centre at Magee and at Queen’s University Belfast’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology, to facilitate research and development.

“Ultimately, the collaboration will strengthen the sector, encouraging further investment as investors recognise Northern Ireland’s growing capability in this industry and ensure that this region is strongly positioned to compete for its share of global business in the future.”

Padraig Canavan the CEO of Singularity, speaking on behalf of the members of the Network added: “This is a key initiative working in partnership to strengthen the research base and graduate skills within Northern Ireland. Each of the companies involved in the project has previously worked individually with one or both universities, but this is the first time we have collaborated in this manner to maximise impact.

“To support business growth in high value sectors we rely heavily on graduate recruitment and this initiative will strengthen the PhD output of both universities. By working closely with both universities to increase the focus on capital markets engineering, it will make the research and the skills base even more relevant to our needs, delivering mutual benefits for academia and industry alike.”

“It is also an opportunity for us to raise the awareness of the importance of university higher education to the NI Economy, by supporting this direct collaboration. It’s clear to each of our companies that the skills and research base needed for the 21st century economy is immensely reliant on our universities, for both the capability and capacity to compete in global markets.”

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