Monday, November 23, 2009

Project Kelvin

Why Kelvin creates a technical advantage for NI

“I am strongly of the view that the global connectivity platform is coming to a cusp point where we are going to rapidly move to the global distribution of data, to the global distribution of functionality and the advent of large scale distribution of web services resulting in rapid creation of new services and business opportunities. In this world having access to high speed connectivity, a stable economic infrastructure, a highly educated workforce and an environment which is capable of providing attractive lifestyles are key points of competitive advantage. On top of this, Ireland, North and South, finds itself in a privileged geographical position, close to mainland Europe, shortest single hop to US from Europe and equally close to the north west African coast. This places it in a near unique position to act as one of the Global Web Service Nodes which will become key elements of the business and social infrastructure for the 21st century. The challenge now is to have the vision and confidence in ourselves to rise to claim this future. As a first step, for example, we could easily become the global repository for health service knowledge bases and educational knowledge bases, where combined with translation programme capabilities, we act as the primary platform providing health and education services online to the planet.

This new world sees us moving beyond global connectivity to global interactivity. There is a wonderful phrase on the ceiling of the Library of Congress in Washington DC - Too low they aim, who shoot beneath the stars. We simply need to raise our sights somewhat to make this happen”.

- Sinclair Stockman, former Chief Scientist, BT and NI Tech Exile

Our looming crisis / opportunity

Northern Ireland is at a crossroads. Traditional industries and familiar markets have been going through gut-wrenching restructuring and competition from overseas continues to impact our SME dominated economy. The requirement to change is facing not only companies, but each of us as individuals and all of us as communities. The key to change is innovation and the development of radically new technologies in new clusters, improvements of existing technologies or in better production processes.
Going live next year Project Kelvin, the new direct, secure, high capacity data cable to Northern America will provide us with technology that will enable us to build businesses and services that until now would not have been possible. We have a unique moment in time to build industries founded on the brilliance of our people and create the environment that will enable opportunity for everyone.

So, how do we capitalise on this? How can we achieve a position at the top of the value chain, rather than live off the dregs from the creativity from other regions? Matrix, the Northern Ireland science industry panel recently identified several global market opportunities available to Northern Ireland, ICT, Health, Media and Advanced Manufacturing; all may be monetised through the fibre connections of Project Kelvin.

Join us for the presentation of visions of new industry clusters that we can create to leverage Northern Ireland’s new unique unfair advantage. Let’s start to wonder “what if……?”

About Project Kelvin
Project Kelvin is a joint €30 million initiative between DETI and DCENR and is partly funded through the EC INTERREG IVA programme. The new cable will link Armagh, Ballymena, Belfast, Coleraine, Londonderry, Omagh, Portadown and Strabane to Europe and North America. In addition, the cable will also provide links to Letterkenny, Castleblayney, Dundalk, Drogheda and Monaghan. This build marks another key milestone in Hibernia Atlantic’s history, as the communications company is the first to deploy a cable from North America to this region. This build is also notable for Northern Ireland and global companies alike, as it offers a new wealth of capacity and the ability to directly and securely connect to Canada, US, UK and mainland Europe.

About Evening Series
NISP CONNECT’s Evening Series provides a distinctive perspective on today’s most challenging business issues facing start-ups by producing forums and case study presentations. The Evening Series creates an opportunity for science and technology sector leaders across all industries to connect in a relaxed and inspiring setting.

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