Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph after only three weeks in the job, Simon Hamilton said the size of the [public] sector is unlikely to shrink “for the foreseeable future” so it needs to become as innovative and creative as possible.
There is a mechanism, called the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) which is designed to tackle this. In my opinion, Northern Ireland needs to look at the problems it has in the widest possible scope. This isn’t just about buying the best locally-sourced pen or paper but about looking holistically about where Northern Ireland should be. We should be better than Estonia.
NI companies are invited to a half-day event on Estonia “SmartEST – Opportunities in the Emerging Baltic Country” in Titanic Belfast on Wednesday 2nd October 2013
Estonia is a vibrant and fast developing country in Northern Europe. It is a member of the EU, and it offers excellent business opportunities due to easy accessibility, transparency and similarity to the UK business culture. It has a young, well-educated labour force, good links with its Baltic and Nordic neighbours, including Russia, and strong, innovative financial service and ICT sectors. The eGovernment sector is particularly well developed.
We have problems in transparency. So the need is there to release more data and then pump-prime the sector with SBRI to exploit the data. There used to be a DFP-funded project called OpenDataNI and we need to get Northern Ireland out of the “sin bin” when it comes to open data.
We have problems in eGovernment. So the need is there to find and exploit some eGovernment solutions. Michael McDowell is the Belfast representative for PlaceSpeak (whose founder spoke at TEDxBelfast)
We have problems in the hope and aspirations of our people. So how can we create some locally sourced solutions? Where are the outputs from the current inputs to the system? Are we examining the root causes of society’s issues? How do you make Northern Ireland the absolute best place to live and start a business?