Generation Innovation aims to keep entrepreneurs in NI

12 Sep 2011

Northern Ireland Science Park has launched a new initiative designed to build a network of Northern Ireland’s best young people, in order to keep future entrepreneurs at home.

Research recently published by the Department of Employment and Learning shows that as many as six out of 10 who leave to study in Britain never return to the province to work. Many others only retain fleeting relationships with home and subsequently miss out on opportunities to pursue their careers or start a business here.

Generation Innovation is designed to address this issue head on and the steering group behind it is now inviting the principals in all relevant secondary and FE Colleges to nominate lower sixth form students who have high potential.

They will then be among the first members of this exclusive network which will be officially launched in the autumn at an event which will include a number of inspirational speakers from high-profile technology companies. 

Dependent on entrepreneurs and innovators

“There are major opportunities for Northern Ireland in the global knowledge economy, but that is totally dependent on the availability of the next generation of entrepreneurs, business leaders and innovators,” said Norman Apsley, chief executive, Northern Ireland Science Park.

“Generation Innovation’s main purpose is to build and maintain a life-long relationship with our best young talent, be they high academic achievers, natural born entrepreneurs or both. While hoping to encourage more young people to either study, work or stay here, we will also encourage those that do move away to continue a closer relationship with home and help build the entrepreneurial economy.”

Lyra McKee, a young entrepreneur and steering group member, said membership of the network will mean attending high-profile networking events and access to an exclusive moderated online social network.

“Throughout their membership, students will regularly gain access to and have the opportunity to be guided by some of Northern Ireland’s top business people from a range of science and technology companies here and internationally. Schools that support the programme will also be acknowledged for their support.”

Photo: Young NI entrepreneurs and innovators Rose McNeill, James Scott and Lyra McKee

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