IET: Business experts to debate innovation during G8 conference

A SPECIAL event will showcase Northern Ireland's engineering prowess to senior global business leaders during this week's G8 investment conference.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in Northern Ireland said Thursday's G8 Innovation Debate in conference venue Titanic Belfast would discuss how the province can build on its strong tradition of innovation and engineering.

Andy Hopper, professor of computer technology at the University of Cambridge, a past IET president and a serial entrepreneur with 12 start-ups to his credit – including Acorn Computers in the late 1970s – will deliver the key-note address.

Mark E M Elborne, president and chief executive of global infrastructure, finance and media company GE in the UK and Ireland, will give an opening speech ahead of the debate, along with Cirdan Imaging Ltd chief executive and Andor Technology co-founder Dr Hugh Cormican.

IET NI Chair Jayne Brady said: "Potential investors from G8 countries attending the G8 investment conference will witness that Northern Ireland has the skills and infrastructure required for successful companies and it is a strategic investment of choice."

The IET has around 2,000 members in Northern Ireland. Ms Brady added its large membership was "evidence of the calibre of engineering and technology skills in the province".

She added: "The collective expertise and vision of the best scientists and engineers is what drives our ambitious agenda and will make so many things possible."

The panel for the debate will feature Prof Hopper, Dr Cormican, Mr Elborne and David Sterling, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

The innovation debate is supported by Invest NI, Queen's University, the University of Ulster, the Institute of Physics and the Northern Ireland Science Park


Notes to editors:

The event takes place on Thursday 10th October from 1pm to 4pm with a drinks reception ahead of lunch at 1.45pm, followed by addresses, speeches and the panel debate.

About Andy Hopper:
Andy is Professor of Computer Technology at the University of Cambridge and Head of the Computer Laboratory. He has pursued academic and industrial careers simultaneously. In the industrial context he has co-founded over a dozen spin-outs and start-ups, three of which floated on stock markets, as well as working for multinational companies. He is Chairman of RealVNC Group and Ubisense plc which between them have received five Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.

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