The 2018 Knowledge Report has set out the huge difference the knowledge economy could make to the overall economy by 2030. For a fifth consecutive year NI is the second fastest growing of the UK regions, but growth is slowing.
The report highlights skills, increasing innovation within business and creating an environment in which we can support start-ups to get to market and accelerate growth as the main factors that must be addressed.
The research shows that if we achieved the aspirations for the knowledge economy, there would be circa 80,000 jobs and £3.2bn GVA added to our economy. This will require an additional 2,500 skilled people coming into NI and will only be possible if we focus our efforts and our collective responsibility to act now.
The 2018 Knowledge Economy Report was supported by Bank of Ireland UK and independently produced by Ulster University Economic Policy Centre on behalf of Catalyst.
The Knowledge Economy Index uses key data year-on-year to compare our performance with other regions. It also monitors the availability of capital. The data helps policy makers and trade organisations plan and advocate effectively for sufficient workforce housing, transportation solutions, zoning and availability of resources. The report also serves as a recruiting and retention tool, demonstrating to research, leadership and management talent from around the world that Northern Ireland is a leading centre for innovation.
In a challenging year for investment, Northern Ireland entrepreneurs have been able to ‘buck the trend’ and secure a significant increase in equity funding in 2022.
Equity investment in the region in 2022 was £139m, an increase of 39% on the 2021 investment levels. In comparison Beauhearst reported UK VC investment as a whole was down 16% in the year.
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