ICT sector

Northern Ireland has proven technology experience, capacity and capability.

Northern Ireland has a vibrant cluster of 1,200+ companies and has experienced an influx of new investors in recent years, particularly in the technology, financial services and legal sectors, joining companies that have enjoyed long-term success in the region as well as local companies exporting internationally such as First Derivatives, Kainos and Novosco.

The region is the world’s top destination city for fintech development investments with companies and is also the leading destination globally for US FDI cyber security development projects.


Areas of expertise

The Northern Ireland ICT sector is composed of a number of important clusters:

  • Cyber security
  • Telecom, mobile & data networks
  • Data analytics
  • Healthcare IT
  • Advanced networks & sensors
  • Financial services tech
  • IT services

And the rapidly growing areas of:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Sports Tech
  • Big Data/Internet of Things
  • Precision medicine
  • Legal services technology

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.


Universities and higher education

Northern Ireland is home to two world renowned universities, Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University that have numerous schools and specialising in research across a range of disciplines including eight clusters of significant AI research excellence. Research in these clusters stands comparison with leading-edge AI research across the globe. The separate clusters focus on Core Data Science; Cyber Security; Hardware; Internet of Things; Medicine; Robotics; Economy; and Multimedia Analytics.


Northern Ireland’s six further education (FE) colleges operate across over 40 campuses and through over 400 outreach community locations. Each college offers a number of Higher Education programmes ranging from GCSEs and A levels to BTECs, HNCs, foundation degrees, apprenticeships, degrees and other specific ICT training programmes.


Who's here

First Derivatives

First Derivatives (FD) is a leading provider of products and consulting services to some of the world’s largest finance, technology and energy institutions. FD is the developer of the world-leading database technology kdb+. Kdb+ is optimised for ingesting, analysing, and storing massive amounts of structured data – it is the world’s fastest time series database. The company employs over 2,400 employees worldwide, with operational bases in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia to service its global clients.

First Derivatives


US firm Imperva, a leading global provider of best-in-class cyber security solutions, is expanding its operations with a new office in Belfast, creating 220 new jobs. Imperva solutions use data, analytics, best-of-breed software, and its community’s expertise to deliver simple, effective and enduring protection for its customers, on-premises, in the cloud and across hybrid environments.



Kainos is a leading provider of award-winning digital services and platforms to public and private organisations around the globe, helping them to work smarter, better and faster. It has added a Workday team which partners with Workday customers to launch, expand, test and safeguard their Workday systems. Kainos is headquartered in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with over 1,500 people employed in thirteen offices across the UK, Europe and USA.



California-based Proofpoint is a next-generation cybersecurity company protecting people, data, and brands from advanced threats and compliance risks. Built on the cloud and the world's most advanced intelligence platform, its solutions help clients effectively detect and block targeted attacks and respond quickly to suspected compromises. It has set up its R&D and Operations Centre for Proofpoint Essentials in Belfast, and also supports the company’s EMEA customer base from Belfast.



Newry-based STATSports is a worldwide leader in sports performance monitoring technology, with over 500 Elite teams globally using its ‘Apex Pro’ system - including U.S. Soccer, Brazil Football Confederation; European soccer clubs Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus; and NFL teams Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders, as well as NBA and MLS teams. Its ‘APEX Athlete’ system allows non-professional athletes to reach their peak performance using the same technology as the Elite athletes.


Find out more about preparing for Brexit in the ICT sector.

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Legal Innovation flyer (PDF)
Sep 26, 2019
Risk and Compliance flyer (PDF)
Sep 09, 2019
FinTech flyer (PDF)
Sep 09, 2019
Cyber Security flyer (PDF)
Jun 26, 2019