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Creative technology

Northern Ireland’s digital creativity sector is a fusion of exceptional talent and state-of-the-art technology.

The region boasts a dynamic industry, where companies collaborate with global clients and international partners, delivering innovative solutions in gaming, animation, media production, post-production and interactive content.

A flourishing animation cluster continues to thrive, supported by undergraduate courses in the region’s university and college network.

Northern Ireland has gained worldwide recognition as a central hub for film and television production through iconic projects like the HBO epic fantasy series, Game of Thrones. Other companies such as Netflix, Sony, Universal Pictures, BBC and Disney have also chosen Northern Ireland for recent productions and the Oscar winning short film An Irish Goodbye was filmed on location in Northern Ireland.

  • Sixteen South has won over 50 international awards including two EMMY® nominations

  • Game of Thrones® was filmed on location in Northern Ireland

  • The Pixel Mill offers a ground-breaking incubation programme for game development teams

  • Post-production house Yellowmoon is decorated with Oscar®, Emmy® and BAFTA® nominations

Areas of Expertise


Area of sector expertise

  • Kids 2D animation
  • CGI animation
  • Original productions
  • Service facilities
  • Northern Ireland’s animation cluster produces world-class global award-winning children’s entertainment programmes and movies that are broadcast worldwide, such as Lily’s Driftwood Bay by Sixteen South, Pablo by Paper Owl Films and Puffin Rock by Dog Ears.
  • The sector is characterised by established and new entrant companies that develop, create and distribute new shows and recurring series.
  • The creative talent pool in Northern Ireland is the bedrock on which the industry is built and has attracted international companies and productions to the region, such as multi-award-winning (including a BAFTA for Best Children’s Drama in 2102), leading creator and producer of animated and live action content JAM Media.
  • The award winning pre-school TV series Puffin Rock, a co-production between Cartoon Saloon, Dog Ears and Penguin Books, enjoys international success - nominated for an International Emmy, winner of two Kidscreen Awards and a Royal Television Award – including a global deal with Netflix and a Chinese acquisition by China Nebula Group (CNB). Dog Ears released the movie Puffin Rock and the New Friends on 14 July 2023 to critical acclaim.


Area of sector expertise

  • Game development
  • Mobile apps
  • Service facilities
  • Northern Ireland's gaming industry has developed a strong cluster that has been bolstered by the creation of the Pixel Mill, an interactive sector-specific co-working space for game development teams from across Northern Ireland.   Offering a ground-breaking incubation programme for UK and Ireland with industry mentorship, access to funding and links to local Universities, the Pixel Mill also serves a larger role as a gaming community meeting place and a platform for local gaming initiatives. 
  • From December 2021 to April 2023, the number of staff working in video games in Northern Ireland grew by around 33.5% (Source: TIGA’s Making Games in the UK 2023 report). 
  • The sector includes game innovators Italic Pig, Go Testify, Rocket Flair Studios, BlackStaff Games and Hypixel Studios (part of Riot Games).

Interactive content

Area of sector expertise

  • Marketing solutions
  • Brand development
  • Communication platforms
  • AR&VR
  • E-commerce solutions
  • Service/Product facilities
  • Northern Ireland has a thriving interactive industry comprising of video game developers, immersive studios as well as service and platform companies. The industry continues to grow and produce exciting content.  
  • Home to innovative companies specialising in marketing solutions, brand development, communication platforms, AR&VR, and e-commerce solutions. These companies provide their products and services to leading clients from the UK and international markets.
  • With a competitive local cluster, technological advancements are regularly being brought to the fore, strengthening Northern Ireland’s position as a hub of digital creativity.
  • Northern Ireland companies in the cluster include Yellow Design, Retinize, Unrvld, Sentireal, Built For Growth Digital, SideQuest and Humain Studios.
  • Yellow Design’s AR360 immersive technology platform is delivering innovative solutions for Advanced Manufacturers by increasing productivity and enhancing customer engagement and is also being used to bring the country to life with immersive tourist experiences.

Film & tv production & location

Area of sector expertise

  • Large scale production
  • Independent film
  • Post-production
  • Northern Ireland is recognised globally as an important production centre for film and television, with world-class studio facilities and access to a highly-skilled talent pool.
  • HBO’s epic fantasy television series Game of Thrones® was filmed on location in Northern Ireland. Other companies such as Netflix, Sony, Universal Pictures, BBC, Virgin Media and Disney have also chosen Northern Ireland for recent productions.
  • The region as a vibrant cluster of production companies, developing content for national and international networks and SVODs.
  • Post-production companies are delivering award-winning services for a range of national and international clients, whilst corporate production services providers are delivering projects for government bodies, businesses, conferences, and events.
  • Companies in the cluster include Yellowmoon Post Production, Pi Comms, Ka-Boom, Rare TV, StreetMonkey and Waddell Media.
  • Rich Peppiatt’s KNEECAP won an Audience Award at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival in Utah.  The film, which is set in Belfast, was co-produced by Northern Ireland’s Trevor Birney, a twice Emmy-nominated producer, award-winning director, and the founder of Fine Point Films and of television production company Below the Radar. It marks the first Irish language feature film to win at the festival and scored a major international deal with Sony Pictures Classics during the festival. 

Cluster support

Northern Ireland is home to several organisations that play a key role in supporting and nurturing creative technologies businesses across the region:

  • Northern Ireland Screen is the national screen agency for Northern Ireland which offers various funding programmes across its economic, cultural and educational activities. The organisation also helps to develop the interactive sector through the support of indigenous talent working in video games, immersive and web and by providing project prototype, project production funding and an accelerator programme.
  • The Pixel Mill is a collaborative co-working space in the Ormeau Baths Innovation Centre for game development teams from across Northern Ireland. Offering a ground-breaking incubation programme for UK and Ireland with industry mentorship, access to funding and links to local Universities. The Pixel Mill also serves a larger role as a gaming community meeting place and a platform for local gaming initiatives. 
  • Studio Ulster is a unique £72m investment in a large-scale Virtual Production studio complex in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The complex includes world-class commercial Virtual Production stages, fully supported by an integrated Research, Development and Innovation Centre of Excellence in real-time and virtual production.  Studio Ulster works with globally important production companies and university research and development teams to plug the skills gap in Virtual Production and develop highly skilled graduates. In addition, it gives local creative companies access to hardware and software that will enhance their product and allow them to scale up and grow into global players in the industry.

Northern Ireland for foreign direct investment

Northern Ireland is an attractive place for investment in the creative technology sector thanks to a combination of factors including skills availability, excellent infrastructure, cost-effectiveness and a supportive business environment. To find out more, visit our Invest in Northern Ireland section.

Get in touch

Connect with a member of our creative technology team via LinkedIn.

Please get in touch.  You can find a team in your region or fill in an enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you directly.

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