Local research capability to be profiled on global stage

Support from Invest Northern Ireland will help three local academic centres of excellence to profile their advanced research capability to a global audience in Copenhagen next week.

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), the QUESTOR Centre at Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster’s Centre for Sustainable Technologies will each have a stand at Copenmind, the world’s first marketplace for university research and technology, to take place on 1-3 September 2008.

In the first year of this event, Copenmind will focus on development opportunities in the area of clean technology, or “Cleantech”. Invest NI is funding the participation of the local research centres in the event, which will bring together around 125 similar research institutes from around the world with expertise in areas such as water, waste and recycling, climate change, air pollution, and agriculture and land.

Representatives from over 4,000 companies are expected to attend, giving the exhibitors unprecedented exposure to potential industrial collaborative partners.

As well as individual stands showcasing their core research capabilities and highlighting areas for co-operation with business, the local academic bodies will hold targeted meetings with key potential partners and influencers in the Cleantech sector.

Carol Keery, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation, Research and Technology, said: “The companies that will attend Copenmind cover a diverse range of sectors, including aerospace, electrical and electronics, pharmaceuticals and telecoms. With environmental concerns becoming increasingly relevant to business performance, all the firms can benefit from developing “clean” solutions to issues such as waste disposal and energy efficiency.  Such measures will help to both reduce their overheads and improve their profitability in what are new and emerging environmental markets.

“The expertise of renowned and well-established local centres of research excellence can help companies achieve this and lead to potentially lucrative partnership deals for the institutions involved.

“Copenmind will also enable the local bodies to network with other research centres, building both their international profile and their potential ability to secure collaborative partnerships with major industry players. This, in turn, will help to develop Northern Ireland’s strong research base even further and improve our capability in high value-added, leading-edge technologies.”