Invest NI Helps Knowledge Hungry Businesses

Dec 15, 2005

Invest Northern Ireland recently announced the creation of an Energy Research Group, set up to offer advice and guidance to companies across Northern Ireland that are planning to invest in energy related technologies, at CIDO Industrial Estate in Lurgan.

Increases in the world’s population, improved life expectancy and lifestyle changes have resulted in greater global demands on limited energy resources for both homes and businesses.  The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI ) confirmed that this trend in energy demand is set to continue in the short, medium and long term, with a 50% increase expected by 2030.

It is anticipated that increased demands for energy will primarily be met by the consumption of the hydro carbon fuels of oil and gas.  Based on these predictions, new opportunities exist for the development of renewable and energy efficient technologies.

Speaking at the launch of the Energy Research Group, Alan Neville, Director of Invest NI’s Knowledge Management division, said:

“Invest NI has formed The Energy Research Group to encourage new companies to engage in energy related R&D programmes and help existing firms become more profitable.  It will ensure that businesses receive ongoing support and guidance to help fast-track the development of the latest energy technologies and capitalise on the new opportunities available in this emerging sector.”

The group, made up of local businesses, heard from South African guest speaker Oliver Hart of Green Circle who presented on technologies that could be developed in Northern Ireland covering gasification, anaerobic digestion and biogas technologies.  It was also an opportunity for attendees to learn of the wide range of Invest NI support programmes available for research and development projects.

“Attending companies were encouraged by the experiences of Oliver Hart and gained increased confidence to harness the potential of new and innovative energy technologies.  Invest NI will continue to work closely with local businesses to capitalise on the interest and momentum created by this first meeting,” Alan continued.

For further details on Invest NI support programmes and the Energy Research Group contact Invest NI’s Energy Division - energy@investni.com

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