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Technology

Northern Ireland has proven technology experience, capacity and capability.

The region enjoys an international reputation as a region of expertise and knowledge in tech development and has one of the fastest growing tech sectors in the UK.

This is an exciting time for the region as its strong local base of software engineering skills has supported the development of a number of business clusters including cyber security; telecom, mobile & data networks; AI & data analytics; IT & cloud services; fintech, govtech and sports tech.

Global technology leaders, such as Fujitsu, SAP, Microsoft, Nvidia, Rapid7 and Whitehat Security, have established business operations in NI because of the wealth of knowledge, skills, support, talent and entrepreneurship on offer.

NI has also developed its own vibrant and innovative tech sector with locally owned firms such as Kainos, STAT Sports, and First Derivatives that are exporting internationally.

  • World’s top destination for Financial Services technology investment and the number one international investment location for US cyber security firms (FT fDi Markets 2020).

  • Europe's leading FDI destination for new software development (by job creation) (FT fDi Markets 2020).

  • Belfast is one of the best cities in the UK to work in tech - and the best place to work as a software developer. 23% of NI jobs advertised last year were digital tech roles, highest % in the UK. (TechNation).

  • Belfast has been named one of the world's top 10 Digital Economies of the Future and ranked 2nd in UK (9th in Europe) in a poll of Top 25 Tech Cities of the Future (Financial Times fDi Intelligence).

Sector expertise

Cyber security

Area of sector expertise

  • Advanced persistent threats
  • National security & government
  • Health
  • Automotive
  • Critical infrastructure
  • Capital markets
  • Legal
  • E-commerce
  • E-learning
  • Child safety online
  • A hotspot for global cyber security firms, such as Proofpoint, IBM Security, Rapid7, Imperva, Microsoft, Nvldia and Synopsys.
  • Home to leading international growth companies such as Anomali, Contrast Security and Cygilant. Other global players such as PwC, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, BDO, and BT all have significant cyber security operations in the region.
  • An international investment location for US cyber security services projects, such as Aflac, Allstate, CME and Citi.
  • NI ecosystem also includes innovative locally grown firms, including Salt Communications, Uleska, B-Secur, Metacompliance, Nvldia, Skurio, Ampliphae, Seven Technologies, Ansec IA, and LoughTec.
  • The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast is a global flagship centre for cyber security and is recognised by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research and in Cyber Security Education.

AI & data analytics

Area of sector expertise

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Immersive content
  • Software solutions
  • Core data science
  • Cyber security
  • Hardware
  • Internet of things
  • Medicine
  • Robotics
  • Multimedia analytics
  • Home to a growing cluster of companies including Adoreboard, BrainWaveBank, Liopa, Kainos & Analytics Engines developing products and services with AI technology at the core.
  • NI universities, UU and QUB are involved in globally recognised AI Research Excellence.
  • Home to Digital Catapult which helps companies develop and grow through the opportunities presented by advanced digital technologies.

Sports technology

Area of sector expertise

  • Performance analytics
  • Booking
  • Marketing
  • Team communication
  • Specialist solutions for elite and amateur players
  • Research
  • Consultancy
  • Northern Ireland companies including Statsports, Kairos & Pitchbooking are delivering world first and market leading solutions to sports clubs globally.
  • NI firm STATSports products are used by the best elite sports teams worldwide including International, Premier League and UEFA Champions League soccer clubs, NBA, NFL and MLS teams.
  • Ulster University’s School of Sport delivers leading edge research and consultancy that is transforming health and sport performance across the globe.
  • GolfNow, the world’s largest online tee-time reservation platform, has integrated software developed in Belfast, booking millions of rounds of golf internationally each year.
  • Glofox, providing member management, sales and marketing capability and payment processing software to gym owners in over 50 countries, chose Northern Ireland as the location of its new R&D centre.

Telecom, mobile & data networks

Area of sector expertise

  • Wireless application and development
  • R&D
  • Telecoms software development
  • Telecommunication
  • Data analytics
  • IoT
  • Cyber security
  • Fixed and mobile network services
  • New products and service development
  • A well-developed communications cluster of companies includes BT, ENEA Openwave, Cisco, IBM, Kigen/ARM, Xilinx and ByteMobile.
  • The Centre for Wireless Innovation (CWI) at Queen’s University Belfast is the UK’s largest research, development and exploitation base in physical layer wireless, and one of the strongest in Europe.
  • Home to BT Ireland Innovation Centre (BTIIC) in partnership with Ulster University, which combines academic & industrial research focused on advanced R&D in core technology areas.

IT services

Area of sector expertise

  • Bespoke software development
  • Software support
  • Computer systems design
  • Data processing
  • Facilities management
  • Major international companies providing such services located in Northern Ireland include Fujitsu and BT.
  • A wealth of local companies including Etain, i3 Digital, Instil and Novosco provide a range of IT services to domestic and international markets.

GovTech

Area of sector expertise

  • Patient records
  • Education platforms
  • Infrastructure
  • Smart buildings
  • Council services
  • Driver safety
  • HR systems
  • Data management
  • E-commerce
  • Digital transformation
  • Infrastructure support
  • Companies in the cluster include Fujitsu, Capita, Kainos, Idox, Novosco, Equiniti ICS, Anaeko, Datactics, and Neueda (acquired by Version1).

Smart cities

Area of sector expertise

  • Governance and standards
  • Data analytics
  • Infrastructure
  • Smart buildings
  • Transport and mobility
  • Security
  • Energy and environment
  • Health
  • Internationally recognised as a leader in smart cities because of its creativity and the technological expertise of its skilled workforce.
  • NI companies regularly collaborate with international partners to develop and implement smart city innovations and solutions.
  • NI has also fostered substantial new innovations in digital technologies such as IoT, AI, 5G, sensors and electronics systems, geospatial and blockchain, all of which underpin future smart city developments.
  • Companies are developing products and services that enable better city services and a higher quality of life for citizens internationally.
  • Companies in the cluster include See.Sense, Analytics Engines & Kainos.

Northern Ireland for foreign direct investment

Northern Ireland is an attractive place for investment in the 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.

Connect with us

Connect with a member of our 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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