Why Manufacturing Innovation?

The manufacturing and advanced technology sectors are crucial for our future, in every respect – from providing vital technological responses and solutions to global challenges and emergencies facing humanity, to maintaining and growing employment and exports by gaining a competitive position and a global market share by investing in new technologies and products. 

Mill turn


Manufacturing in Northern Ireland is a vibrant and highly sophisticated sector, accounting for 11% of total employment and more than 15% of GVA. Northern Ireland is home to over 5,000 manufacturing companies, together employing over 80,000 people, and supporting a further 120,000 jobs. As a sector, manufacturing delivers around £10.6 billion per annum to the local economy, including exports of around £6 billion of products and services to international markets.[1]  

Automated machine in manufacturing setting


In recent years, major challenges to manufacturing have continuously emerged highlighting the critical need for the adoption and integration of new technology. The disruption posed to supply chain resilience as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, energy production and security as well as the challenges of addressing circularity have strengthened the requirement for business to have ready access to expertise, skills and capability in support of innovation.