New executive director appointed for Queen’s University’s Global Innovation Institute

Queen’s University Belfast has appointed a new executive director for its £ 58m Global Innovation Institute, the expansion of the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) which will be completed in the next three years.

David Quinn, who has had a 30-year career in business consultancy and is a former consulting partner in PwC in Northern Ireland, has taken up the role of the Belfast Region City Deal-funded project.

TACs to transform Northern Ireland’s digital economy by increasing the volume and range of digital innovation taking place within the region.

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David Quinn

Scheduled to open in 2025, it will house more than 550 experts at its Titanic Quarter site, including researchers already based at ECIT, as well as others who will be co-locating from a wide range of companies and external partners.

The team of researchers will build on ECIT’s core expertise across cyber security, advanced wireless technologies, data science and analytics. Within a multi-disciplinary environment, experts from a range of sectors including health data, agri-food and Fintech.

Mr Quinn said: “The City Deal investment in GII represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for research and innovation in the global economy of Belfast’s emerging Innovation District, in line with the Department of Economy’s 10X Vision .

“I feel privileged to take on the role of Executive Director and to contribute to a very vibrant and collaborative innovation ecosystem that has emerged so strongly here in recent years.

“TII will be an accelerant for high value jobs and growth for years to come while bringing solutions for agriculture and the environment, healthier lives and our healthcare system.

“I am committed to working with industry and government partners in the economic and social circumstances of all the people of Northern Ireland. A more prosperous, inclusive and healthier place is simply a better outcome for everyone. ”

As part of the Belfast Region City Deal, the UK Government and Northern Ireland Executive provide £ 170m funding towards three Queen’s-led Centers including TII, the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Center (AMIC) and the Institute of Research Excellence for Advanced Clinical Healthcare (iREACH ), while an additional £ 30m will be invested by the University and its partners.

Mr Quinn takes up his new role as Dr Godfrey Gaston, currently executive director of ECIT, retires this summer after 18 years’ service at Queen’s.

Professor Ian Greer, vice-chancellor of Queen’s University, explained: “I am pleased to welcome the Executive Director of the new Global Innovation Institute at the exciting time for the University Innovation Pillar of the Belfast Region City Deal.

“Having held senior roles in a business in Northern Ireland, it provides a significant focus for the local economy and the economy. and accelerate inclusive growth.

“Dr Godfrey Gaston would like to pay tribute after 18 years with the University, most recently holding the role of ECIT Executive Director. Godfrey has made a remarkable contribution to the University to the delivery phase of the TII and we wish him a very happy and well-deserved retirement. ”

Professor Máire O’Neill, ECIT director, added: “I look forward to working with the GII with our talented and ambitious colleagues. David’s extensive industry experience combined with our established research roadmap will ensure GII delivers on cutting edge security solutions, data-driven healthcare and a safe environment for all. ”

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