Some of Northern Ireland’s best entrepreneurs, support bodies, plus local / central government policy makers and politicians came together to receive a delegation from the EU’s Committee of the Regions in Belfast on 21st September 2016.
This mission came out of the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) Recognition Award won by NILGA for Northern Ireland in 2015.
Councillor Deirdre Hargey (on behalf of NILGA President, Councillor Seán McPeake) received the delegation and partners in Catalyst Inc, with a second visit later in the day hosted by Invest NI.
Councillor Deirdre Hargey, said: “We need more of this entrepreneurial culture, and I’ve been overwhelmed with the passion and innovation of our European Partners in the Committee of the Regions (COR) plus our local partners. Truly, the region can have the ambition and expertise to be the Creative Capital of Europe by 2030”.
Dr Norman Apsley and Dr Joanne Stuart of Catalyst Inc provided an insight into innovation and SME growth here in Northern Ireland and a small group of successful entrepreneurs shared their experiences with the delegation.
Dr Norman Apsley, Chief Executive Officer, Catalyst Inc said: “We were delighted to welcome the delegation to Catalyst Inc.’ he continued ‘Being awarded the European Entrepreneurial Region was really important for Northern Ireland and recognises the changes that have taken place in our economy over the last decade and our focus on developing an entrepreneurial and innovative economy to rival any in Europe.”
NILGA, the NI Local Government Association, achieved the EER (European Entrepreneurial Region) Award in 2015, in partnership with Invest NI. Since then, a ten region partnership with regional EU players in Germany, France, Finland, Spain, Ireland and others has evolved. NILGA together with its partners - Ulster University, Catalyst Inc, Belfast Metropolitan College, Young Enterprise NI, FSB NI and Queens University - are pooling their collective expertise to boost Northern Ireland’s Entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Project “iEER” aims to define smart paths and solutions for partners to boost and orchestrate regional entrepreneurship ecosystems supporting young entrepreneurs.
Caption for the attached photograph.
EER jury IEER Boost Team, with local government representatives at Catalyst Inc, Belfast.