Northern Ireland Science Park has been rebranded as Catalyst Inc, part of a £100 million investment plan to drive innovation and technology growth in the region.
The 10-year investment plan includes the creation of 5,000 new jobs and 1 million square feet of space, starting with three new buildings, two of which will be in Derry and another on the existing Belfast site.
Created in 1999, the Northern Ireland Science Park has exceeded all its original targets and growth expectations. It has supported the creation of 2,600 jobs, the development of 400,000 square feet of workspace and continues to leverage additional private sector support and investment equating to £1million annually.
Home to 160 companies in science, technology and knowledge-based industries, Catalyst Inc has campuses in Belfast, Derry, Letterkenny and Ballymena. Tenants include Citi, Novosco, Dow, Path XL, 8over8, Wurkhouse, Taggled, IRP Commerce, Automated Intelligence, IBM and Qualcom.
Norman Apsley, chief executive of Catalyst Inc said the new name reflects the organisastion's 'catalytic' impact on the development of technology and knowledge-based businesses.
“Catalyst Inc is built upon the deep belief that in Northern Ireland we have a community of innovators so powerful its people can change the world.
“We provide the home, networks and empathy to support this talent and ambition to develop world leading products and services that will transform Northern Ireland into one of the most entrepreneurial knowledge economies in Europe.”
He added: “Everyone talks about the need to grow the economy and drive our expertise and skills in technology as it is applied to every business sector. What we have done at Catalyst Inc is to provide the right environment for that ambition to take hold and to prosper.
"Through our collaborative approach we have developed significant and successful partnerships. Our success in securing EU Interreg funding for the development of our North West campus with Letterkenny Institute of Technology is one such example.
“Now is the time to accelerate the generation and exploitation of knowledge to create competitive and compelling new products and services to sell to the world at large."