City deal funding package worth £170m confirmed for QUB-led innovation projects

L-R: Queen's vice-chancellor Professor Ian Greer with economy minister Gordon Lyons; and QUB PhD student Lauren McGarry at the NI Technology Centre.

A CITY deal funding package of £170.8 million has been confirmed for three Queen’s University-led innovation projects.

Some 20 major innovation, tourism and infrastructure projects will fall under the £1 billion pot for the Belfast Region City Deal.

Stormont and London have committed £350m each, with six councils and the universities also contributing.

Funding has now been secured for three innovation schemes led by Queen's.

Some £78.7m will go towards the new Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC), which will see a flagship Factory of the Future developed at Global Point Business Park in Newtownabbey, offering advanced manufacturing and engineering businesses access to the latest technology, specialist equipment and expertise.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council will contribute £10m to the total £98m cost.

Queen’s is also taking the lead on the £58.4m Global Innovation Institute (GII), with £52.4m coming from the city deal pot.

The GII is a data-driven project, that will bring researchers and industry together in the areas of data security, connectivity and analytics.

The third QUB-led initiative, the Institute of Research Excellence for Advanced Clinical Healthcare (iREACH), is receiving £39.7m in city deal funding.

The £46.6m project will seek to bring various stakeholders into an ecosystem for testing new drugs through their development life cycle and integration into care pathways.

Announcing the £170.8m funding, economy minister Gordon Lyons said the projects are currently at an early stage.

“The AMIC, alongside the two other City Deal-funded projects that Queen’s is leading on, will link at scale into UK networks, helping to step up Northern Ireland’s innovation, skills and digital capabilities to deliver inclusive economic growth.”

Queen’s vice-chancellor, Professor Ian Greer, said: “The innovation pillar of Belfast Region City Deal is about driving collaborative university-industry R&D to harness additional investment, create new jobs and accelerate inclusive growth.”

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