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PwC is opening a space at Ulster University’s Magee Campus in Derry/Londonderry as part of its investment in innovation in Northern Ireland.

The space will house research and development for its £40m Advanced Research and Engineering Centre (ARC), which launched last year in conjunction with Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast, with support from Invest Northern Ireland.

Through its alliances with government and academia, ARC’s innovation ecosystem is looking to build solutions to complex business problems into the next decade and beyond.

The new space will be used primarily as a base for ARC staff based in the North West of the country as PwC Operate ramps up recruitment from beyond its Belfast base. PwC Operate will start with four people at Ulster University’s Magee campus, but is looking to establish a larger team as ARC builds out its capabilities.

Ian McConnell, PwC Operate Lead Partner, commented:

“We’re delighted to be establishing a presence in the northwest. ARC’s vision includes university postgraduates working on research projects that feed into the software engineering function of ARC, as we develop solutions to our clients’ problems.

ARC will continue to be based in our Merchant Square HQ in Belfast, but we’re keen to recruit from as wide a talent pool as possible. To be able to offer opportunities to people across the country is something very close to my heart and I believe fundamental to the success of this initiative.”

George McKinney, Director of Technology and Services, Invest NI, commented:

“It’s great to see PwC strengthening its presence in Northern Ireland once again. We announced our support for these jobs last year, and I’m pleased to see tech talent in the North West being utilised to create these. The new space at Ulster University’s Magee campus clearly demonstrates local business and academic relationships in action. It will help to accelerate PwC’s growth further and strengthen the position of the North West on the global tech map.”

Jim Harkin, Head of the School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems from Ulster University commented:

“It is positive for the Derry and Strabane City and District that PwC’s Operate will open an office at Ulster University’s Magee campus. This latest collaboration will see Ulster University students and researchers, both at the Jordanstown and Magee campuses, work alongside Operate staff to solve complex business problems using academic research. The new office located on the Magee campus reflects the growing interest in doing business in Derry / Londonderry because of the easy access to talented people and innovative research from the Intelligent Systems Research Centre. Innovation and digital technologies are a major focus at our Magee campus. As we develop research centres for robotics, AI and personalised medicine in the years to come as part of the Derry & Strabane City Deal, we will see more and more companies growing their presence in the North West and creating high-tech jobs.”

Des Gartland, Invest NI’s North West Regional Manager, added:

“PwC’s physical presence in Derry / Londonderry is great news for the local area. The decision to embed itself in the North West business and academic community is testament to the local talent it can tap into from Ulster University’s Derry / Londonderry campus. I’m looking forward to seeing the innovative solutions that emerge from the new facility.

Allister Lee, School Manager of the School of Electronics, Electrical Enginnering and Computer Science at Queen’s University Belfast, said:

“At Queen’s University, we are delighted to be a part of this exciting new venture. We are proud to play a role in this partnership and look forward to continuing to work with Ulster University and PwC on this innovative project.”

Invest NI’s support is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014–2020.