Queen's University Belfast, a member of the Russell Group of the UK's 20 leading research intensive universities, has a long-standing international reputation for successful dissemination and application of cutting-edge research, knowledge transfer and the commercialisation of research ideas and innovations. It is also the holder of the prestigious 'Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2009-10' title awarded by the Times Higher Education.
In the 2010 government review of UK Universities (the Higher Education – Business and Community Interaction survey), Queen’s was ranked first in terms of the revenues generated by spinout companies (£104 million) and ranked 2nd in terms of job creation by its spin-out companies (with 982 employees).
The Northern Ireland Technology Centre (NITC) is one of the primary links with industry at Queen’s University Belfast. Its staff of professional mechanical, electrical and civil engineers are involved in the transfer of best practice in design, construction and manufacturing technologies to help strengthen the competiveness of all sectors of industry. The activities are mostly ‘near-market’ and demand driven by industrial need rather than the more usual ‘pre-competitive’ R&D undertaken at the University. Services include product and process development including all aspects of product lifecycle management, digital manufacturing, 3D factory simulation and optimisation, design consultancy, materials testing and EMC testing. The Technology Centre also provides research, consultancy and testing services for the construction and civil engineering industry.
Much of the Centre’s activities focus on technology and innovation management whilst providing ‘communal’ access to advanced and expensive technology which firms could not afford to resource on their own. Nationally, the Centre has led a number of Collaborative R&D projects under the BIS (previously BERR) Technology Programme and has been actively involved in the supervision of numerous Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and FUSION programmes with industry. It has also been involved in several collaborative EU projects to transfer R&D technology in Computer Integrated Manufacturing Engineering (CIME) into SMEs throughout Europe.
On behalf of the University, the Knowledge Exploitation Unit (KEU) manages a range of business activities including technology licensing, consultancy, technical services, knowledge transfer and early stage company support.
This project has been supported by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body