Portview signs up to unique Irish-US innovation partnership

THE Portview Trade Centre in east Belfast is to be part of a unique cross-border and transatlantic partnership created to drive innovation, thought leadership, training, and economic growth opportunities.

A memorandum of understanding was signed in Dundalk yesterday between Louth Meath Education & Training Board (LMETB), the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, Catalyst Connection headquartered in Pittsburgh, and Portview.

The move represents a significant step in the foundation of crucial strategic educational and training alliances between the island of Ireland and the USA, promoting the exchange of knowledge, information, training opportunities, and the effective translation of integrated advanced manufacturing skills, paving the way for greater economic opportunities and development between the two countries, reflective of a modern industrial ecosystem.

The event was attended in person by Congressmen Mike Doyle and Mike Kelly, both US Representatives for Pennsylvania, aligned to the Democratic and Republican parties respectively.

Speaking at an event marking the formal signing, LMETB chief executive Martin O’Brien said: “Our Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre of Excellence has made a major contribution to the provision of training, supports and services to companies all across Ireland, helping to ensure that these companies have a talent pipeline of highly skilled current and future employees in high value employment.

“It is precisely this type of partnership approach with thought-leading organisations in both Northern Ireland and the US that allows us to continue knowledge and network sharing, enabling businesses of all sizes to become leaders in advanced manufacturing and to compete and thrive in the global economy.”

Portview Trade Centre, formerly Strand Spinning Mill, was built during the late 1800s and was subsequently sold and converted into usable workspaces for small businesses.

Many of the features of the mill remain, yet the units are modern, making Portview a busy, dynamic, inspiring and successful commercial centre for business.

Portview Trade Centre chairman Brendan Mackin said: “This collaboration has opened up access to the state-of-the-art facilities, programmes, supports and services to a large community in Belfast, which in turn will make a major contribution to peace and political processes.”

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