In 2017 Matrix undertook a short study into the interface between technology and creativity, following one of the supporting recommendations from the 2016 Digital ICT report that “a report dedicated to the creative digital and content sector in Northern Ireland” should be produced.
There is a growing cluster of businesses in Northern Ireland who are creative and depend heavily on technology – particularly in the following areas:
- Film & TV
- Gaming & animation
- Mobile/Web content
There is also a growing interest in graduates in gaming and related subjects from large banking and financial organisations who are increasingly aware that user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) play a vital role in business growth and customer retention.
Did you know…?
- Creative technology companies employ around 13,000 people in Northern Ireland – however there are around 44,000 people working in the wider NI creative economy, representing 5% of the total NI workforce.
- There is an extraordinary level of productivity within the creative tech sector – Gross Value Added (GVA) in the technology subsector of the creative industries in NI rose 60% 2009-2013, compared to 15% for the whole creative industries sector and 5% for all NI industries. This is a remarkable trend and one which indicates that creative technologies have the potential to play a major part in the NI economy.
The 2018 Matrix study identified a small but thriving sector with tremendous potential both for growth in its own right and in collaborating with other Northern Ireland technology industries to enhance their products and services.
It is clear that the sector has a unique set of characteristics and business behaviours and because of this, it is not currently being supported as effectively as it should be to maximise its potential. The good news is that small adjustments to the way government supports these businesses could help transform the sector.