Leading-edge research and technology products were showcased to potential investors and business partners on an Invest Northern Ireland stand at CeBIT 2003, the world's largest and most important exhibition for Information and Communications Technology businesses, which was held at Hannover in Germany from 12-19 March.

Invest NI was supported at the exhibition by the University of Ulster, Queen’s University, Belfast, Momentum, the Software Industry Federation and three local companies in promoting Northern Ireland as a centre of innovation in the development and commercialisation of software products and services. The three companies, all from the software sector, were e-blana, Armagh; First Derivatives plc, Newry; and Raytheon Systems Ltd, Londonderry. The Invest NI stand was located in one of the seven software halls at the show.

Professor Fabian Monds, Invest NI Chairman, and Leslie Ross, Managing Director, Invest NI Business International, briefed a number of potential investors during a visit to the exhibition and hosted a St Patrick’s Day reception for over 100 specially targeted guests from companies in Germany and other parts of Europe interested in a Northern Ireland location.

Prof. Monds said: "Our objective at this major technology-
focused event was to demonstrate that Northern Ireland is among the very best locations in Europe for the development of innovative software products and services and to highlight its attractions as a location for inward investment opportunities.

“We achieved this by showcasing the strength of our commitment to innovation in the ICT sector and the highly supportive partnership that exists in Northern Ireland between Invest NI, university centres of research excellence and companies, both externally and locally-owned.

“It also enabled the participating companies from Northern Ireland to demonstrate expertise across a broad range of software sectors and to develop contacts that already support new businesses and strategic partnerships,” added Prof. Monds.

Upwards of 700,000 business people from around 80 countries visited the exhibition.