Fri 2nd Dec 2016
NI Chamber President: Businesses with innovation and creativity should have no fear of failure
Pictured (l-r) are Hollywood Producer Mark Huffam, Ann McGregor (NI Chamber); Nick Coburn (NI Chamber) and Paul Murnaghan (BT).
If Northern Ireland is to thrive as a creative and innovative economy, businesses must lose their fear of making mistakes and government must ensure creative people are supported and developed.
That was the call last night (1 December 2016) from the President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) Nick Coburn who was speaking to more than 750 guests from the world of business, politics and government at the business organisation’s annual banquet in Belfast Waterfront.
Mr Coburn, who is Managing Director of Ulster Carpets, told guests attending the gala dinner that creativity and innovation were key to business growth and Northern Ireland has many excellent role models who have embraced these within their operations.
Mr Coburn was also joined by Hollywood Producer Mark Huffam who was interviewed by longstanding Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark. Huffam, who originates from Antrim, has produced a number of television shows and films including Saving Private Ryan, Mamma Mia, the Martian and the first series of Game of Thrones.
Speaking at the event, which was billed as a celebration of innovation and creativity, Mr Coburn said:
“Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.
“To develop a creative and innovative economy we must lose our fear of being wrong and we must ensure that creative people are supported and developed. We must embrace new technology.
“From small to large, Northern Ireland boasts some of the most innovative and creative companies in the world…and more are being established every day.”
Some of Northern Ireland’s most innovative companies #GoodToGreat
Mr Coburn also called on government to ensure that Northern Ireland’s interests are reflected in any negotiations with the EU. He continued:
“We must remain focussed on ensuring that Northern Ireland’s unique circumstances are understood and recognised and that our ambition to grow the economy through cultivating external sales is not hindered.
“Our firms and businesses must continue to have access to skilled and talented labour; our higher education sector should be inspired to innovate through timely access to research and development resources and all the avenues to access to finance must remain properly aligned with the growth roadmap.
“These areas are crucial for the delivery of ambitious targets set out in Programme for Government particularly the ambition to create a strong, competitive, regionally balanced economy.”
The event was supported by NI Chamber’s Communications Partner BT and supporting sponsors Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council; Charles Hurst Jaguar Land Rover; Power NI and Tughans.
Speaking at the event Paul Murnaghan, Regional Director at BT Business NI, said:
“Since beginning our partnership with the NI Chamber, BT has evolved dramatically and we’re immensely proud of the impact that this evolution has had on Northern Ireland and the way in which people here work, live and play. In the past year, BT has given a £470 million boost to the Northern Ireland economy.
“At BT, we believe that we have a great responsibility to drive economic sustainability across the region and we are committed to supporting the NI Chamber’s key priorities in representing the interests of the business community, both the private and public sector, here in Northern Ireland.”