Talking it up and taking action – searching for a way forward for emerging industries in Northern Ireland


There have been two notable posts/publications in recent week by people from involved in the NI Tech Industry.  Writing in the Belfast Telegraph David Kirk says

“I know from decades of experience in the tech industry in the USA, that without clear vision and bold leadership, many brilliant opportunities are left fallow.

In Northern Ireland it is particularly true; it’s not from lack of talent, ideas or from wanting to succeed. In many cases it is simply because it is not clear how to progress those opportunities and how to see ambition and visual success. In the past six months I’ve seen some world-class opportunities that “just don’t fit” into a standard envelope, requiring cross-functional this, or cross-organisation that, or didn’t have the right boxes ticked. Northern Ireland is too small to waste opportunities like this. You know what they say, when one door closes another bangs shut. I’m tired of hearing slamming doors — it’s time to jam them open.”

Norman Apsley who heads up the Northern Ireland Science Park wrote in his Blog  – also published in the Newsletter

Lots of people want to see Northern Ireland companies grow and succeed. But how do you translate goodwill into firm actions? If smaller, private investors/ex-pats wanted to help support local start ups, how do they go about doing that? How can NI best support the next generation wantrepreneur?

These questions, and more besides, were part of an email conversation going backwards and forwards this week. Involved in the conversation were some NI-born hi-tech and highly successful entrepreneurs now living abroad, and a few local people involved in local tech and innovation – here’s a snapshot of what things look like from their perspective…

These are people of influence who have the good of new and emerging tech industries at the heart of what they do.  It is time to talk up what is going on and to follow that with action.  But action needs to be co-ordinated and considered.  This is a call for visible, measurable movement. 

Count me in.

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