On Thursday 12th September, Joanne Stuart (Catalyst Inc Director Of Development) spoke at the Peace & Beyond Conference organised by the British Council, which ran over 3 days. The Conference aimed to encourage new thinking and research in the field of peacebuilding and reconciliation and took part during the 20th Anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
During her speech, Joanne explained that Catalyst Inc was established as a result of the Good Friday Agreement, to develop and grow the Knowledge Economy in Northern Ireland. And thus, on a derelict site in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, the story of Catalyst Inc (formerly NI Science Park) began.
Peace & Beyond Conference Belfast
She went on to explain that from these humble beginnings, Catalyst Inc now has three campuses; the headquarters in Belfast and our Innovation Centres in Derry/Londonderry and Ballymena and that the initial investment, made as a result of the Belfast Agreement has continued to deliver a positive dividend for Northern Ireland.
Joanne reflected on the surrounding landscape of Catalyst Inc:
“An area that was once the heart of the ship building industry has now been transformed into an innovation ecosystem with knowledge-based companies employing over 3,000 engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs and executives.”
Also speaking during the conference were South African advocate Thuli Madonsela, who worked closely with former President Nelson Mandela on the final constitution in South Africa, Lord Alderdice, who played a significant role in the negotiation of the Belfast Agreement and Senator George J. Mitchell, President Bill Clinton’s former Special Envoy for Northern Ireland.