Announcement: Catalyst Inc CEO Norman Apsley OBE to retire in 2018

Added Friday, June 15 2018

We are saddened to announce the upcoming retirement of our esteemed CEO Norman Apsley OBE in December 2018.

Dr Norman Apsley has devoted his career to enterprise promotion and for the last eighteen years has been the inspirational leader of Catalyst Inc (formerly the Northern Ireland Science Park) and is a man at the heart of stimulating innovation in Belfast and wider Northern Ireland. He is an advocate of the talent and ambition of innovators and inventors and his focus is unashamedly on the development and growth of what we term the Knowledge Economy; that is an economy built upon innovation, entrepreneurship and the intellectual capital within NI. 

Starting on a derelict site in the Titanic Quarter, which was the centre of NI’s former ship building industry, in fifteen years, under Norman’s leadership, we are now home to 200 innovative knowledge-based companies employing over 3,000 engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs and executives and now have 3 campuses – our headquarters in Belfast, our Innovation Centre in Derry/Londonderry and an Innovation Centre in Ballymena. Just last month we were honoured to witness Norman receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards 2018.


Norman’s mission and that of Catalyst Inc, is to make our ambitious vision ‘for Northern Ireland to be one of the most entrepreneurial knowledge economies across Europe by 2030’ a reality. Norman is a visionary who has been at the forefront of developing a knowledge economy in Northern Ireland since 2000.

 Ahead of his retirement announcement, Norman commented:

“When I came home at the invitation of the late Ernest Shannon, to be the first Chief Executive of what was then the Northern Ireland Science Park Foundation, Belfast and the whole country was just emerging from the rigours of the “Troubles”. It was still a bit grey and my late mother, among others, wondered if I had done the right thing. I had and still have no doubts. It has been a real privilege to be part of the process that is bringing this land, which we all love, back to life and vitality.”

We hope you join us in wishing Norman the very best in enjoying his much-deserved retirement. The team here at Catalyst Inc look forward to continuing the journey that Norman began in the year 2000 and to fulfilling our ambitious plans for the future of Northern Ireland.