The role of physics in supporting economic growth and national productivity in Northern Ireland

Physics delivers results. It’s the principal means by which we advance our knowledge, and a deep font of inventions and ideas. But more than this, it’s the means by which Northern Ireland’s economic future can be safeguarded. We at the Institute of Physics have long suspected this to be true. The work presented here by the Centre for Economic and Business Research is further confirmation that this is indeed the case.

Foreword by Chair of IOP Ireland Dr Mark Lang

The most comprehensive analysis of the role of physics in economic growth in Northern Ireland, this report shows that physics-based industries – those dependent on physics knowledge and expertise – punch well above their weight, in terms of impact, jobs and productivity.

Northern Ireland is in a robust position as a strong physics economy, home to international researchers, a participant in world-leading collaborations, and an enterprising place building success on physics-based industry.

But today’s success is built on yesterday’s investment. It is the fruit of long-term support for physics in education, research and skills. If Northern Ireland is to maintain a high-tech, high-growth economy for the future, that support for physics will need to continue – and even to expand.

The IOP is working to ensure that the benefits of physics are understood, and making the case for continued investment in this vital area, in order to secure a bright future for Northern Ireland. This report will be pivotal to that drive.