Is Northern Ireland less innovative than the Republic?

It seems we in Northern Ireland aren’t doing so well when it comes to innovation, at least according to InterTrade Ireland. Simon Hamilton tweeted this announcement from one of his party’s ministers yesterday:

“Arlene Foster reveals only 1 of 18 nominations in InterTradeIreland awards from NI & this is a trend. Does ROI have monopoly on innovation?”

Adds: Matt has a great post here. [H/T Andy]

Perhaps not a monopoly, but the Republic has a scale and a more vibrant private sector. But I should add that in my experience of dealing with Enterprise Ireland and Invest NI is that the former is much more open and creative in its approach and sells itself with a great deal more conviction.

And they have a wider culture of having to compete unmediated in a difficult climate. That’s not to obscure the fact we have innovative risk takers. But perhaps their virtues are not sufficiently in the public domain?

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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