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R&D in Belfast

14 Dec 2022

The UK’s four nations have vital roles to play in R&D and Northern Ireland has strong foundations on which to build. To continue our exploration of the opportunities offered by devolution, and how the public can be brought into these discussions, we held a workshop with organisations across Belfast.


  • Almac Group
  • Global Innovation Institute, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Health Innovation Research Alliance, Northern Ireland
  • Invest NI
  • NI Science Festival
  • Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Ulster University

Key Conclusions

  • Local connections to R&D and its impacts should be emphasised. Making the most of visible local infrastructure, whether buildings or buses, could help draw the public’s attention to the research on their doorstep.
  • R&D advocates should open their doors to the public to let them see research first-hand. Within Northern Ireland, the public’s appetite for seeing behind the scenes should be encouraged with practical actions adopted across sectors, for instance through industry and academic open days.
  • Different parts of the R&D system must champion each other to bring benefits to all. It is essential to demonstrate that R&D is a team activity and find stories that can celebrate the contributions of different people across all parts of the R&D sector.
  • Engaging and activating voters can help build political will. R&D investment and politics are inherently linked, and advocates must be aware of this two-way relationship. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach for different parts of the UK, the support of voters carries weight with political decision-makers everywhere.

R&D in Belfast

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