Catalyst today welcomed Lord Gerry Grimstone, the UK Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, to its Belfast campus.
The Minister took part in a roundtable discussion with a number of local innovation-focused businesses, including FinTrU, ProAxsis, Catagen and B-Secur, as well as representatives from the Federation of Small Businesses and senior members of the Catalyst leadership team.
The discussion focused on how the Free Trade Agreement agenda and the UK’s international trade ambitions could help make the UK a global hub for investment, and the opportunities for innovative businesses across Northern Ireland to benefit from new agreements with New Zealand, Australia, and India.
Lord Grimstone is the Minister for Investment jointly at the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Some of his Departments’ responsibilities include investment promotion across all sectors, overseeing the Office for Investment, promoting investment into all BEIS sectors and ensuring the alignment of DIT Investment objectives and BEIS policy.
Before joining government, he had an extensive career spanning roles in the private and public sectors, including as Chairman of Barclays Bank plc and Standard Life Aberdeen.
Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone said: “Innovation is integral to the Northern Ireland economy, and it is encouraging that support offered by Catalyst is helping to fuel the wealth of investment opportunities that exist within the country’s booming tech ecosystem.
“With technology hubs in Belfast, Ballymena and Derry~Londonderry supporting companies ranging from start-ups to scale-ups and massive investment opportunities, Catalyst offers an impressive array of support for Northern Ireland entrepreneurs to accelerate their growth, access new markets and sell to the world at large.”
Catalyst CEO Steve Orr said: “We’re really pleased to welcome Lord Grimstone to Catalyst and to give him the opportunity to engage with some of the fast-growing local companies who will be a driving force for Northern Ireland’s economy in the years ahead. We were also pleased to be able to share the ambitions outlined in Catalyst’s five year strategy to help more of our homegrown companies scale up and make their mark internationally.”