ICE Northern Ireland launches State of the Nation: Digital Transformation in Belfast

Professionals from the wider built environment, government, and the IT sector gathered for the regional launch

ICE Northern Ireland Chairman Stephen Heaney speaking at the launch. Credit: Michael Cooper.
ICE Northern Ireland Chairman Stephen Heaney speaking at the launch. Credit: Michael Cooper.

On 22 March, ICE Northern Ireland hosted a regional launch of State of the Nation: Digital Transformation at the Google Hive at PWC in Belfast. Attended by professionals from across the built environment and IT sectors, the launch was supported by ICE Northern Ireland's new Digital Group.

ICE Northern Ireland recently established the Digital Group in order to help achieve this transformation within the built environment. Representatives from McAvoy Group, Graham, PWC, Queen's University Belfast, WDR & RT Taggart, Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), Digital Catapult and Atkins will focus on new ways of using emerging technologies for the wider construction industry.

"To promote economic growth, we must boost productivity through the better use of digital technology, skills and data in local infrastructure, enabling Northern Ireland to play its part in maintaining the UK's place on the world stage," said ICE Regional Director Richard Kirk about the report's findings.

"Belfast City Council has already shown great leadership by improving its smart city approach. However, the Executive must follow suit in prioritising digital transformation across Northern Ireland in order for us to keep pace. We need to use technology to make the most of our existing infrastructure and to deliver the new, resilient infrastructure that will improve people's quality of life."

"Furthermore, the Skills Barometer Report identified IT and civil engineering as the two areas facing the biggest skills shortage over the next ten years. This is the perfect opportunity for these two sectors to collaborate for the benefit of Northern Ireland."

The State of the Nation series of reports, published annually, assesses the policy challenges for the UK's infrastructure networks and recommends actions needed to deliver improvements. This year's findings were based on research and consultation with over 350 organisations and professionals.

Several local media outlets covered the event, including The Irish News, the Belfast Telegraph and Boardroom NI.