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University of Ulster’s Director of Innovation Tim Brundle is this week on a visit to California’s Silicon Valley as part of a Northern Ireland business development mission.

Joining him on the Belfast City Council/InvestNI-led mission are three  Ulster portfolio companies – SOPHIA Search, SISAF and Performa Sports.

It’s been a strong year for innovation at Ulster, as the University recorded its highest-ever level of support for business, undertaking more than 4,000 contracts, providing almost 1,000 innovative solutions to companies, more than 50,000 days of management training, and starting many new companies, as well as licensing numerous technologies to businesses across the world.

Tim said: “ Silicon Valley is an unparallelled technology hub and has the world's highest density of venture capital. The University of Ulster is proud to be collaborating with businesses, entrepreneurs and academics within the Bay Area, and indeed, it is where many of our own alumni are helping to build the businesses of the future.

“The University of Ulster has a track record of success in the commercialisation of its research and is recognised for its fruitful relationships with industry through its diversity of approaches in education, research, as well as knowledge and technology exchange. Ulster has enjoyed recognition for its business ventures, which are led by its subsidiary company, ‘Innovation Ulster Ltd’.

The University was eager to join this Tech Mission to support the objectives of Belfast City Council and Belfast’s Lord Mayor, said Tim. “This mission offers a tremendous opportunity to assist University-linked companies in their business development and venture capital fund-raising goals, to deepen Ulster's own participation in Silicon Valley and to connect with our existing partners and alumni.

“Success for us will result in new connections and new partners for Ulster, new customers and VC engagements for our companies and engagement in Silicon Valley with Belfast's very exciting technology proposition.”

Notes for editors:

The University of Ulster is the largest of nine universities on the island of Ireland and is also one of the UK’s most popular universities, with a high volume of applications for undergraduate places each year and a deserved reputation for excellence in both research and innovation.