Lyons updated on £63m. Smart Nano NI project during Seagate visit

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons was in Derry today to hear how the North West is leading a £63.9 million project to increase productivity in the smart and nanomanufacturing industry in NI.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 5th August 2021, 4:14 pm
Smart Nano NI: Fergus O’Donnell, Plant Manager, Minister Gordon Lyons, Orlaith Hurley, Smart Nano NI, Mark Gubbins, Smart Nano NI, Brendan Lafferty, Seagate, David McHugh, Seagate, and Noel Brown, Invest Northern Ireland. On screen are members of the Smart Nano NI consortium

Seagate Technology (Ireland) is the lead company for Smart Nano NI, the consortium recently awarded £42.4m. to develop new technology - as small as a billionth of a metre - for medical devices, communication and data storage.

The consortium comprises more than 70 firms and organisations from across NI.

Their objective is to research and bring to market new smart and nanomanufacturing products over the next five years. The £42.4 million - from the UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) flagship Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) - was awarded to create and test more than 100 prototypes.

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Economy Minister Gordon Lyons at Seagate.

On his visit today, Mr Lyons said: “This is a significant investment which will bring together a number of world-class capabilities in advanced manufacturing materials and engineering, including the electronics and life sciences sectors. Our 10X Economic Vision identified these sectors as holding an important role not only in Northern Ireland’s economic recovery but also in helping it become of one of the leading small economies in the world.

“This project itself will provide a significant economic contribution to Northern Ireland which could lead to the creation of over 500 jobs, a £250m increase in exports and the injection of around £100m in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) over the next 10 years. It has a vital role in helping Northern Ireland realise its economic potential.”

The Minister spent the day in Derry and, after his visit to Seagate, he dropped into the Ulster University’s Magee Campus before meeting the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

He rounded off his day of engagements with a visit to the city’s Guildhall to discuss the opportunities presented by the region’s City Deal and Inclusive Future Fund Investment Plan - including the Plan’s proposals for new tourism led regeneration projects.