Representing the software sector at the first ever Belfast x Tech conference
This week, the Software Alliance played a role in the first ever 'Belfast x Tech' conference. The event took place at The MAC, Belfast and was sponsored by AIB Merchant Services and Software Alliance member company Allstate NI.
A first of its kind event, it examined Belfast’s growing status as an innovative technology hub, how our industries can help develop the city and improve people’s lives, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
We were pleased to collaborate on this event alongside our counterpart industry associations FinTech NI and NI Cyber. Our Chairperson John Healy sat on a panel with Judith Millar, NI Cyber Steering Committee Member and Business Development Manager at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT). Together, they set out the current position of the software and cybersecurity industries in Northern Ireland.
To an audience of over 200 guests from business, education and government, John detailed how the Software Alliance exists as a forum for companies to collectively grasp the sector’s potential for job creation and economic development. He added that, as an industry that by its very nature underpins many other sectors from health-tech to retail, the software industry needs to be united and active in addressing its collective challenges to continue supporting economic growth.
Both John and Judith acknowledged that in software and cyber, and right across wider technology in Northern Ireland, the future challenges lie in talent development, access to markets, and helping SMEs find routes to attract large funders and investors. They agree that sector collaboration and representations to government require the input of both the large, multinational tech companies based in Northern Ireland and the voice of our smaller, home-grown businesses.
As an Alliance, we were pleased to play a role in this the first Belfast x Tech event and discuss these challenges which we know you, our member companies, grapple with every day. Thank you to the Belfast Chamber for hosting and event sponsors Allstate NI and AIB Merchant Services.