Northern Ireland

College launches north's first `innovation institute'

Celebrating the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange NI launch
Celebrating the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange NI launch

A COLLEGE renowned for its science, technology, engineering and maths education has launched the north's first `innovation institute'.

The Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IKE) NI will be located at South West College (SWT) in Dungannon.

IKE is a professional body for innovators in Britain and Northern Ireland which seeks to "influence the inter-relationship between education, business, and government through research and collaborative networks".

Its work is guided by the Innovation Council, which brings together innovators representing companies including Microsoft, Thales, Bosch and Panasonic.

It runs think-tanks, conducts research studies and supports organisations to benchmark and develop their innovation capabilities.

The launch celebrated the strong evolution of partnership between education and businesses in the south west region.

It coincided with the college being awarded the Investor in Innovations standard by the UK Institute of Innovation & Knowledge Exchange.

"The college is the first organisation in Northern Ireland to achieve this standard and now sits with an elite group of companies and academic institutions across the UK who have shown a commitment to innovation," SWC chief executive Michael McAlister said.

"Achieving the Investor in Innovation Award recognises SWC’s success embedding innovation and dedication to sustaining a strong innovation culture for our staff, students and industry stakeholders."