On 7 June, NEF CEO, Professor Sa’ad Medhat addressed a major pre-G8 Conference held at South West College in Enniskillen.
The International and Economic Development Conference outlined how the region can create opportunities for jobs and growth in fast-growing sectors by adapting current skills and resources and accelerating new ideas towards global markets.
The conference is the first event of its kind to look exclusively at improving the international competitiveness of Fermanagh and Tyrone and was organised by South West College in association with the Confederation of British Industry, Omagh Enterprise Company and Invest NI.
Professor Sa’ad Medhat focused on the role of colleges in driving economic growth and the importance of skills for innovation and productivity in attracting inward investment.
Speaking at the event, Prof Sa’ad Medhat said: “Further Education colleges have a pivotal role to play in embracing “Open Innovation” to support the development and sustainability of new and emerging technologies. Through effective engagement with employers, local authorities and other educational providers, colleges such as the South West College are raising the performance of their regional workforce and creating opportunities to attract investment. By focusing specifically on high growth areas in Science, Engineering and Technology, the college has become a “market-maker” stimulating enterprise and advancing social wellbeing.”
Other speakers at the event included economist Prof Neil Gibson Director of the NI Centre for Economic Policy and Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Ulster; and Andrew Brammer from global law firm Allen & Overy.