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Ulster University and Dell Technologies have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will see both organisations work together to develop emerging technology that will advance research in digital health and drive innovation in screen and media.

The partnership is an important building block in the development of the new Belfast Region City Deal.

In bringing together Northern Ireland’s leading research institutes and a global leader in technology, today’s partnership will act as a catalyst for innovation in the region.

A range of other world leading partners are also supporting these highly important centres which will strongly contribute to higher productivity within our local and national economies.

Building on the ambition set out in the new Belfast Region City Deal, the new partnership will see Dell Technologies support the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Edge Computing at the new Centre for Digital Healthcare Technology. This will enable scientists, start-ups and technology experts to develop life-changing treatments in the areas of cardiology and respiratory, accelerated by the launch of a new high productivity clinical living-lab based within the hospital setting.

The second initiative to be rolled out under the MOU will see a dedicated testbed for Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) put in place at the new Screen and Media Innovation Labs. Providing access to latest innovations in technology will help to ensure Northern Ireland’s successful creative industry remains a global leader by transforming screen production and content creation.

Dell Technologies has agreed to sponsor two PhD researchers at Ulster University. One PhD researcher will focus on data analytics in healthcare while the second will support the digital transformation of Northern Ireland’s creative industries.

Professor Paddy Nixon, Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University, commented:

“The Belfast Region City Deal provides an unparalleled opportunity to achieve economic growth and prosperity for the region. Our partnership with Dell Technologies will act as a catalyst to develop technology and advance research with impact locally, nationally and internationally. Ulster University’s world class researchers and facilities supported by Dell Technologies will deliver life changing health outcomes for patients and will transform the creative industries in Northern Ireland.”

At the launch of the partnership today, Mark Hopkins, General Manager, Dell Technologies Ireland and Northern Ireland, said:

“We’re excited to partner with Ulster University to help realise the ambition set out in the Belfast Region City Deal to transform Northern Ireland’s innovation and digital capabilities. Today’s partnership will prove to be game changing for the capital.

“Through the use of AI, Edge Computing and other emerging technologies, we can help transform healthcare outcomes for patients, provide our creative industries with the digital tools to succeed and above all build a vibrant start-up ecosystem that delivers growth and jobs. We look forward to working with Ulster University in the coming months to making this vision a reality.”