This year’s report shows that for the fourth consecutive year, Northern Ireland is the 2nd fastest growing Knowledge Economy across the UK. However the rate of growth is slowing and given the significant economic and technology challenges we are heading into, radical action is needed now if we are to survive as a modern economy.
For the first time, the report contains specially commissioned research into the potential impact of automation, one of the biggest external forces of the 21st Century. Ulster University’s Economic Policy Centre, who carried out the research, estimates that up to 423,000 (50%) of jobs in NI could be affected by automation in the next decade.
We are calling for the creation of a dynamic coalition of Government, public bodies, private sector business and Universities, aligned and working to deliver practical solutions to enable NI to meet the challenges and take advantage of the massive growth in technology – The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
One of the first actions we are taking is the organisation of the Future Of Work In NI Solutions Summit, taking place on Wednesday 28 February 2018, a unique opportunity to explore and find solutions to the impact of automation on our businesses, workforce, young people and economy.
The 2017 Knowledge Economy Report is supported by Bank of Ireland UK and independently produced by Ulster University Economic Policy Centre on behalf of Connect at Catalyst Inc.
The Knowledge Economy Index uses key data year-on-year to compare our performance with other regions. It also monitors the availability of capital. The data helps policy makers and trade organisations plan and advocate effectively for sufficient workforce housing, transportation solutions, zoning and availability of resources. The report also serves as a recruiting and retention tool, demonstrating to research, leadership and management talent from around the world that Northern Ireland is a leading centre for innovation.