NI's HealthTech sector will 'help build UK's position as science superpower'

  • Northern Ireland's tech sector received 67% of total equity investment in 2020, according to findings from the British Business Bank.

    A separate report by Tech Nation says that NI has 2,195 digital tech firms, employing 21,140 people and with a combined £3bn turnover. 

    Belfast is now regarded as a global cybersecurity hub and leading location for new software development projects. The local pharmaceutical and life sciences sector is also booming with 18,000 full time jobs and advances in biomedical research into cancer, cardiovascular disease and Cystic Fibrosis.

    MedTech start-ups are coming to the forefront, such as B-Secur, which has recently secured US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Clearance for its innovative ECG software that monitors heartbeats.

    Last year, Queen's University Belfast was named the number one UK university for creatig successful spin-outs, with many falling uner the HealthTech category, like GenoME Diagnostics - the ovarian cancer diagnostics company that last month secured £300,000 of funding.

    The British Business Bank’s UK Network Director for Northern Ireland, Mark Sterritt believes businesses here in the life sciences and tech sectors will help build on the UK’s position as a science superpower.

    RELATED: QUB awarded funding to develop new MedTech consortium

    “Northern Ireland is home to a number of businesses who are really leading the way on the global stage," he said. "Bank-supported equity deals are becoming more geographically diverse with the concentration of deals undertaken in London reducing sharply, from 68% in 2016 to 42% in 2020.

    “As the life sciences and tech sectors continue to grow in Northern Ireland, it is important for local businesses to be aware of all their funding options, like equity finance.

    “Future Fund: Breakthrough, a new £375m UK-wide scheme due to launch this summer, will help address the later stage equity finance gap faced by innovative, R&D-intensive UK companies including those within the deep tech sector.”

    While the tech sector was the most attractive for investors, equity investment into sectors heavily impacted by social distancing measures, such as retail, personal service and leisure and entertainment fell, with deal numbers decreasing by 13%, 17% and 10% respectively.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

    Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Sync NI? Email the editorial team for our consideration.

    Sign up now for a FREE weekly newsletter showcasing the latest news, jobs and events in NI’s tech sector.

Share this story