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Ulster University has joined with Queen’s University Belfast and a range of industry partners to mark a major milestone in the delivery of a state-of-the-art Factory of the Future, part of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC).

Located at Global Point in Newtownabbey and set to open in 2026, the open access manufacturing and engineering innovation centre will be delivered by Queen’s University Belfast in partnership with Ulster University, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, and wider industry and government partners.

As construction starts on the ambitious project, US Special Envoy to NI for Economic Affairs Joe Kennedy III joined with Queen’s University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Ian Greer, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor Neil Kelly and key representatives from industry, government and academia, including Professor Liam Maguire, Pro Vice-Chancellor (PVC) Research at Ulster University.

AMIC represents a £100 million investment and is expected to create up to 1,500 jobs across Northern Ireland, contributing £1 billion to the local economy and training 300 apprentices by 2050.

Built by Henry Brothers, the 10,000m² centre will have capacity for 150 staff and is set to reinvigorate local industrial potential and address the future technology and skills challenges faced by the region’s manufacturing sector.

AMIC will provide a specialised environment for advanced manufacturing, materials, and engineering sectors to access the latest digital, automation and robotics technology, supported by experienced engineers and underpinned by academic excellence.

Following a recent recruitment campaign, AMIC has grown its team of experienced engineers and support staff to over 50, to increase delivery of digitalisation and innovation projects for local manufacturing companies across a range of sectors.

Supported by almost £80m in funding from the Belfast Region City Deal, the innovation centre recently received Full Business Case approval from government, signalling confidence that AMIC can deliver on time and to budget following a rigorous specialist and peer-reviewed process.

US Special Envoy to NI for Economic Affairs Joe Kennedy III said:

“It is critically important, not just for the innovation that this site is going to help incubate and produce, but for the long-term economic development of this entire region.

“Manufacturing obviously has a long history in Northern Ireland. This next generation of manufacturing is going to power world innovation and create solutions to problems that we don't know how to solve yet. 

"It’s incredibly exciting for me to see the work that is being done on the site, and to know that the future of Northern Ireland is connected to its past and looks incredibly bright and prosperous going forward.”

Professor Liam Maguire, Pro Vice-Chancellor (PVC) Research at Ulster University, said:

“It is fantastic to see a major milestone achieved as construction gets underway on the AMIC Factory of the Future at Global Point in Newtownabbey. At Ulster University, we are pleased to be a supporting partner on the project and welcome the significant advancements in expertise, skills development and access to cutting-edge technologies the centre will bring to Northern Ireland.”

Sam Turner, CEO of AMIC, said:

"AMIC is already live and supporting economic growth and prosperity for Northern IreIand by creating high quality jobs and increasing inward investment through high value manufacturing innovation clusters. With core capabilities in digitalising manufacturing, smart design, sustainable polymers and composites, and smart nanotech we are working with local businesses across the region to address technology and skills challenges. 

“It’s fantastic to see construction start on the Factory of the Future which will enable us to further drive industrial transformation, paving the way for future technologies and competing globally with a more sustainable focus.”