We joined a health and life sciences panel at the recent Northern Ireland Investment Summit 2023. HIRANI CEO Joann Rhodes MBA was joined by Peter Keeling, CEO Diaceutics PLC and Jason McKeown, CEO Neurovalens and Professor Tara Moore.
Over 120 investors and businesses from around the globe attended.
Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP, UK Secretary of State for the Department for Business and Trade said: “Life and Health Sciences is one of the many areas where Northern Ireland is in a prime position thanks to expertise, world class research, strong links between clinicians and academia in Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. What has been interesting for me today as well was meeting with businesses, hearing about your world class innovations that will impact patients and drive economic growth.
Northern Ireland had a unique trading position with a seamless land border within the single market and within an internal UK market. When you back this country, you’re joining a growing list of businesses and investors who also recognise these opportunities. It is our responsibility to promote all parts of Northern Ireland, especially the north-west, not just this great city of Belfast where we meet. That is something the government is trying to ensure, that we are levelling up across the UK but also across Northern Ireland. I’m convinced that Northern Ireland has an amazing future,” she said.
Rt Hon Michael Gove MP who is UK Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in his speech said: “Just like Boston, Northern Ireland has two universities, tech spin outs, strong AI, Life Science and Cyber industries. Nowhere else has that potential for growth or teamwork. Leaders come here as they know the future of Northern Ireland matters and they want to invest in that future.”
Professional services firm EY also announced they are creating 1,000 jobs in NI over the next five years.
Also addressing the summit, US special envoy, Joe Kennedy III explained there are currently more than 230 US businesses in Northern Ireland which employ more than 30,000 people.
“The peace dividend, in order for Northern Ireland to wholly reach its potential, that has to be felt more broadly, it has to be spread more widely across society,” he said.
Recent analysis by fDi markets found there were 20 FDI projects to Northern Ireland announced by 19 different companies in the year to August 2023.
The US was the main source market for investment with eight projects, accounting for 40% of total projects.
Dr Robert Ladner, chief executive of CV6 Therapeutics, (NI) Ltd., a developer of drugs aimed at improving the lives of patients with cancer and inflammatory conditions, said directness was to be encouraged when it came to pitching for investment.
“If you want to have people write cheques for $10m to $15m, have a plan for $10 to $15m, don’t be shy about it and make sure it’s comprehensive and that there’s a very clear path from initial investment to return.”