Professor Declan Keeney

Professor of Screen Technologies & Innovation

School of Communication and Media

Belfast campus

Room BC-07-231,
2-24 York Street,
BT15 1AP,

Arts and Humanities Research

Professor of Screen Technologies & Innovation

Professor Declan Keeney


Declan Keeney, PhD, MA, BMus(Hons), LTCL, PgCHET, PgDIP, SFHEA, FRSA is a Professor (Chair) of Screen Technologies & Innovation at Ulster University & Director of the Ulster Screen Academy.

Professor Keeney is Co-Founder & Interim CEO of Studio Ulster Ltd, a £72m ($91m) 75000ft2 commercial Virtual Production Studio complex with a dedicated UKRI AHRC funded CoSTAR R&D lab currently under construction at Belfast Harbour Studios in NI. One of the Belfast Region City Deal Pillar Innovation projects.

He is a member of board of the British Film Institute acting as Northern Ireland Governor and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts. Professor Keeney is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the British Council’s Arts & Creative Economy Advisory Group and a Visiting Professor at Liverpool John Moores University. His current research in support of the screen industries represents £91.5m ($116m) worth of live grant-based research and development investments.

Declan is a Policy Fellow of the Future Observatory at the Design Museum in London. An AHRC/DCMS funded fellowship exploring net zero and carbon reduction in the Screen Industry.

Declan leads the CoSTAR Lab in NI, a £17m investment in R&D&I in Creative Technologies, Virtual Production & Real-time production. CoSTAR forms the largest research network for VP in Europe. With colleagues at UU he secured £3m from the Levelling Up Fund for a flexible virtual production studio & £25.2m from the Belfast Region City Deal fund.

Declan is a Co-investigator at Future Screens NI, a £13m AHRC funded Creative Cluster, and a Co-investigator on a £3.2m EPSRC Network+ grant ‘Virtual Production in the Digital Economy’ with partner Universities, York, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and the University of the Arts in London. He is also Co-I on a Green Transition Ecosystem AHRC funded £4.6m ‘Future Island’ project working with Rathlin Islanders aim to be NetZero.

Declan leads on skills and curricula development as an expert in screen technologies and innovation within the Ulster Screen Academy. In 2021, the Academy, officially opened a £1.6m Virtual Production studio training facility at Ulster University's Belfast campus, the first of its kind in any university in the UK or Ireland and became an Unreal Academic Partner.

Over 25 years of broadcast media experience, including 13 years as staff at the BBC. Originally from Donegal in the Northwest of Ireland Declan is researching emerging technology applications of 6DoF, world building, photogrammetry, LiDAR scanning and virtual production for film and broadcast. He is also a festival board member for @RENDR_Festival.