Invest NI Helps Software Firm Bolster R&D in Belfast

Invest Northern Ireland is helping international software firm SAP AG embark on a highly innovative research programme through a £900,000 investment at its local research facility.

SAP established a Campus-based Engineering Centre (CEC) at the University of Ulster in February 2006 to take forward leading-edge software research. This follow-on investment is a vote of confidence in the Northern Ireland facility, enabling the CEC to diversify into the emerging area of system virtualisation, a new form of software solution which will help the firm build on its market-leading position.

Invest NI Chief Executive Leslie Morrison said: “Invest NI welcomes this strategic investment by SAP, one of the world’s leading providers of business software solutions. By expanding its presence in Northern Ireland, SAP is highlighting the confidence of the international ICT sector in doing business here.

“Our local universities offer a wealth of expertise, particularly in the areas of grid computing and system virtualisation, making Northern Ireland an ideal location for research and development.

“Collaboration between universities and businesses, and the transfer of knowledge from research projects like this, will help to consolidate Northern Ireland’s growing reputation as a global R&D hub, particularly in ICT.”

Mr Morrison added: “The project will add value to the local ICT sector and help to increase the attractiveness of Northern Ireland internationally as a location for investment in ICT.”

Dr Ben Greene, Director of Research at the SAP CEC in Belfast, said: “Our R&D capability is crucial to our future growth and we are pleased with the results achieved by our initial research project in Belfast.

“The level of skills and knowledge available in Northern Ireland made it a natural choice of location for us to begin substantive research into system virtualisation, which will add to the significant advances we have already made in grid computing.”

The project is part funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).