Business

Belfast Met joins Innovation City Belfast partnership

Belfast Met has joined Innovation City Belfast to help the partnership champion the skills agenda. Pictured (from left) are Eileen Montgomery, Digital Innovation Commissioner at ICB; Damian Duffy, interim director of curriculum at Belfast Met; Louise Warde Hunter, principal and chief executive at Belfast Met; Professor Ian Greer, ICB chair; Clare Guinness, Innovation District Director at ICB; and Aidan Sloane, director of development & digital at Belfast Met. Picture: Darren Kidd/PressEye

BELFAST Met has joined Innovation City Belfast (ICB) to help the partnership champion the skills agenda as it drives the city forward as a global destination for innovation.

It becomes the seventh anchor institution in ICB, which also includes Queen's University, Ulster University, Belfast City Council, Belfast Harbour and Catalyst, with Invest NI as an advisory partner.

Queen's University vice-chancellor Professor Ian Greer, who is chair of ICB (www.innovationcitybelfast.com), said: “The addition of Belfast Met is a welcome and a natural step forward for the partnership, aligned with our mission of driving collaboration, bridging the gap between education and industry, and harnessing the growth in sectors such as fintech, health & life sciences, greentech and beyond.

“The latest expansion of ICB means we are now partnered with three key tertiary academic institutions focussed on cultivating the innovators and skills for tomorrow.

“Significantly, they provide a direct link between skills requirement and skills delivery, helping build a pipeline of talent and enhancing the city's credentials on the international stage.

“Supporting the digital skills pillar of the £1 billion Belfast Region City Deal, Belfast Met, alongside our other key partners, enables inclusive innovation via pathways to jobs in the growing digital economy.”

The college, which has four campuses across Belfast, will bring 30,000 new students to the Innovation District from September, coming at a pivotal time as businesses and industry leaders seek to drive vitality back into the city post-Covid.

Belfast Met's curriculum is designed to reflect priority growth areas identified for Northern Ireland, such as emerging technology and advanced manufacturing and engineering.

Its principal and chief executive Louise Warde Hunter added: “We are delighted to be collaborating with our partners and are committed to working to strengthen the economic success of the Belfast City Region.

“As a leading partner in the Belfast Region City Deal, the College will deliver a series of interventions to support vital skills, employability, apprenticeships and careers enhancement, which in turn will underpin significant capital investments in innovation, tourism and regeneration over the next 10 years.”

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