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Science Park opens, promises high-tech jobs for Derry

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley

A further phase of the Northern Ireland Science Park has been opened in Derry at Magee College.

The park, backed by the government, is supposed to generate thousands of high-tech jobs in Northern Ireland.

The science park’s main section was opened in April 2000, and is located on Queen’s Island in the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, in a section known as the Titanic Quarter, a disused area where the famous ship was built. Other sections, like the new one in Derry, will be spread throughout Northern Ireland.

The permanent secretary for the Department of Higher and Further Education, Alan Shannon, said the Magee College science park would significantly boost the local economy.

"Commercial and market-orientated collaboration between industry, academia and government is therefore central to the issue," he said.

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"The Science Research Park at Magee College is a vital component, together with the Coleraine campus and the main site at Titanic Quarter, Belfast, of a linked Northern Ireland Science Park project.

"I am confident that the science park will help spawn innovative clusters that draw together the universities, research organizations and private sector."

Cthe chairman of the science park foundation, Professor Ernest Shannon, said that he believes that more than 3,000 jobs could result from the project over the next 10 years.

The vice-chancellor of the University of Ulster, Professor Gerry McKenna, said this week that the university remains committed to supporting the development of the knowledge-based economy in Northern Ireland.

"The launch of the Magee College Science Research Park will provide significant opportunities for life and health technology companies to cluster around the world-class biomedical research activities based on our Derry campus," he said.

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