All posts by Tracey Wilson

Effective Engagement between Business and the Northern Ireland Assembly: Research Project

In 2017 the NIABT decided that its objectives could be better achieved by the Northern Ireland Assembly facilitating business engagement activities in house rather than via a Trust.  Accordingly, the Trust agreed to dissolve and work to effect that dissolution is under way.

To support the transition from the NIABT to the new arrangements, the Trust agreed to fund a research project with the broad aim of informing the development of new arrangements to maximise effective engagement between business and the Assembly. The research will:

  • Gauge the business community in Northern Irelands level of understanding of the Assembly’s roles and responsibilities.
  • Take the views of the business community in Northern Ireland, Assembly Members and secretariat staff on current and past engagement practice between the Assembly and business and how such engagement could be improved.
  • Make comparisons with the engagement practices of other legislatures.

Pinnacle Growth Group have been appointed to undertaking the research and following consultation with Assembly Members, business members and Assembly staff, Pinnacle have developed an online survey to assess the current levels of engagement between the Northern Ireland Assembly and local businesses, and also the effectiveness of this engagement. Please find some further details and a link to the survey below.

Northern Ireland Assembly Business Trust – Stakeholder Survey

In partnership with the Northern Ireland Assembly Business Trust, Pinnacle Growth Group are undertaking a research project focusing on the level of engagement between the Northern Ireland Assembly and local businesses.

A key part of this project is engaging directly with businesses that span different sectors, scales and locations across Northern Ireland, so that we may gather information that will enable us to evaluate current engagement levels between local businesses and the Northern Ireland Assembly and identify potentially new and different approaches to increasing engagement levels. 

As part of this project, we would ask you to consider completing a 10 minute online survey by using this link.

Participation in this survey will be anonymous and no personal details will be gathered.

The closure date for the survey is 17:00 on Monday 22 March 2021

Please note that this survey is seeking to assess the engagement role of the Northern Ireland Assembly only – not the Northern Ireland Executive, individual MLAs or any Civil Service Departments. We would ask that the survey be completed with this in mind.

On behalf of Pinnacle Growth Group and the Northern Ireland Assembly & Business Trust, we thank you for your time and contributions towards this valuable piece of research.

Dissolution of the NIABT

The NIABT Board of Trustees held a strategic planning day in June 2016 to discuss the ongoing work and future goals of the NIABT. One outcome from the planning day was to review the efficiency of the work being undertaken by the Trust with a view to increasing its impact on members as well as the wider business community in Northern Ireland.

Following the review, reform proposals were presented to the NIABT Board outlining how the Trust’s aims and objectives could be better served and better delivered.

At its meeting on 13th November 2017 the Board of Trustees agreed a proposal that the NIABT be dissolved, with the membership voting to dissolve the Trust at the AGM on 13th December 2017. This decision was agreed in the context that the Northern Ireland Assembly is committed to developing a new programme of work entitled the Northern Ireland Assembly Business Network (ABN).

At the AGM members also voted on how the funds should be disbursed in line with the articles of the Trust.

The Board considered the options at its meeting on Wednesday 19th February 2018 and unanimously voted that any decision of how the funds should be disbursed would be put on hold until the political situation is clearer. It met again on 19th September 2018 and again unanimously voted that decision be postponed. The Board will meet again in February 2019 (unless the political situation is resolved sooner) to assess the situation.

NIABT Brexit Debate

On Monday 16th November 2015, the NIABT, in partnership with QUB, held the second of a two part event focusing on the upcoming EU Referendum and how this is likely to impact on Northern Ireland.

Colette Fitzgerald, NI Head of the European Commission Regional Office, Nigel Smyth, CBI NI, Mike Nesbitt MLA and Patsy McGlone MLA ,Chairpersons of the Committees for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister and, for Enterprise, Trade and Investment respectively formed the panel and took questions from the audience.

The Panel discussed a number of issues of concern to local businesses, ranging from agriculture, trade and cultural links with the rest of the Europe and border controls as well as looking at the current ideas for reforming the EU.

The conclusion from the large majority of the audience was that a reformed EU is the best option for the Northern Ireland economy.

NIABT Chair Robin Newton MLA opens the event
NIABT Chair Robin Newton MLA opens the event

Panel taking questions from the audience, l-r Colette Fitzgerald, Patsy McGlone MLA, Mike Nesbitt MLA and Nigel Smyth
Panel taking questions from the audience, l-r Colette Fitzgerald, Patsy McGlone MLA, Mike Nesbitt MLA and Nigel Smyth

NIABT delegation visits Cardiff and Swansea

NIABT delegation visits Cardiff and Swansea as part of an educational programme in Wales.

NIABT delegation pictured at Swansea Bay
NIABT delegation pictured at Swansea Bay

Jo-Anne Dobson MLA pictured with Alice Randone from the Welsh Parliament
Jo-Anne Dobson MLA pictured with Alice Randone from the Welsh Parliament

NIABT delegation pictured with Ioan Jenkins, Development Director for Wales, Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
NIABT delegation pictured with Ioan Jenkins, Development Director for Wales, Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

John Dallat MLA opens the meeting on public procurement with Value Wales
John Dallat MLA opens the meeting on public procurement with Value Wales

Jo-Anne Dobson MLA and Glyn Roberts pictured with William Graham, Chair of the Committee for Enterprise and Business
Jo-Anne Dobson MLA and Glyn Roberts pictured with William Graham, Chair of the Committee for Enterprise and Business

Leslie Cree MLA, Jo-Anne Dobson MLA and Richard Stewart pictured at Welsh ICE in Caerphilly
Leslie Cree MLA, Jo-Anne Dobson MLA and Richard Stewart pictured at Welsh ICE in Caerphilly

EU Referendum / Brexit debate

On Monday 28th September, the NIABT in partnership with QUB held the first of a two part event, themed on the upcoming EU Referendum and how this is likely to impact on Northern Ireland.

Colette Fitzgerald, Head of the European Commission Regional Office in Northern Ireland, Professor David Phinnemore and Dr Lee McGowan addressed the audience on the issues facing Northern Ireland on the outcome of an announcement of a Brexit.

Robin Newton MLA, NIABT Chair opens the event.
Robin Newton MLA, NIABT Chair opens the event.

The NIABT held its AGM on Monday 15th June 2015

The NIABT President, Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin MLA presided over the NIABT AGM on Monday evening. Four new Board members were elected to the Board of Trustees, namely Norah Anne Barron, Nicola Bothwell, Noel Brady and Barry Turley.

Members of the NIABT Board pictured at the first meeting of the new Board following the 2015 AGM. l-r Richard Stewart, Nicola Bothwell, Phil Flanagan MLA, Chris brown, Stephen Kelly, Vice Chair, John Stewart, Barry Turley, Noel Brady
Members of the NIABT Board pictured at the first meeting of the new Board following the 2015 AGM.
l-r Richard Stewart, Nicola Bothwell, Phil Flanagan MLA, Chris brown, Stephen Kelly, Vice Chair, John Stewart, Barry Turley, Noel Brady

 

Following the formalities, Professor Neil Gibson delivered an economic briefing where he looked at how society can all contribute to the future economy of Northern Ireland.

View Professor Gibson’s briefing.

Board member Michael Bell chaired the questions for Professor Neil Gibson.
Board member Michael Bell chaired the questions for Professor Neil Gibson.

 

NIABT delegation embarks on a USA Programme during 1st to 5th June 2015

An NIABT delegation including six MLAs and nine business representatives took part in a week long educational programme during the first week of June this year. The programme started off in Washington DC where Norman Houston, Director at the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington, D.C. had arranged two days of intensive meetings and presentations.  The first meeting was with David Slack, Vice President, Government Affairs Bombardier and Ashleigh de la Torre, Principal at The Bockorny Group and during the stay in Washington D.C., the group also met with Ambassador David O’Sullivan, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, Congressman Richard Neal and Gerri Fiala: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Employment and Training Administration, US Department of Labor.

The group then moved on to Baltimore for meetings with members of the Greater Baltimore Committee, Mike Gill, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and Mark Montgomery, President and CEO of Ports America.

The week ended with attendance at the two day New York New Belfast Conference where NIABT members were directly involved with a number of break out sessions on a variety of topics such as  Transformational Projects in Cities on the Rise and How can Belfast make itself a must-visit destination for Irish Americans?

NIABT delegation pictured with Barbara Jones, Consul General of Ireland in New York
NIABT delegation pictured with Barbara Jones, Consul General of Ireland in New York

NIABT delegation pictured with Norman Houston, Director at the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington, D.C.
NIABT delegation pictured with Norman Houston, Director at the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington, D.C.

NIABT delegation pictured with Gizachew Andargeh, International Business Manager, Business Development and Strategy Division at the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development, District of Columbia Government
NIABT delegation pictured with Gizachew Andargeh, International Business Manager, Business Development and Strategy Division at the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development, District of Columbia Government

NIABT delegation pictured with Ambassador David O’Sullivan, Head of the Delegation of the European Union
NIABT delegation pictured with Ambassador David O’Sullivan, Head of the Delegation of the European Union

NIABT pictured with Sean Heather, Vice President, Center for Global Regulatory Cooperation and Executive Director, International and Antitrust Policy
NIABT pictured with Sean Heather, Vice President, Center for Global Regulatory Cooperation and Executive Director, International and Antitrust Policy

Robert Harkness and Wilfred Mitchell pictured with Sean Heather, Vice President, Center for Global Regulatory Cooperation and Executive Director, International and Antitrust Policy
Robert Harkness and Wilfred Mitchell pictured with Sean Heather, Vice President, Center for Global Regulatory Cooperation and Executive Director, International and Antitrust Policy

Christine Watson and Nicola Bothwell pictured at the Capitol Building
Christine Watson and Nicola Bothwell pictured at the Capitol Building

Wilfred Mitchell and John Rooney pictured at the Capitol Building
Wilfred Mitchell and John Rooney pictured at the Capitol Building

Michael Bell pictured at the Capitol Building
Michael Bell pictured at the Capitol Building

Nicola Bothwell and Christine Watson pictured with Chris Crosbie and Stewart Matthews from the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington, D.C.
Nicola Bothwell and Christine Watson pictured with Chris Crosbie and Stewart Matthews from the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington, D.C.

NIABT delegation pictured with Congressman Richard Neal
NIABT delegation pictured with Congressman Richard Neal

Phil Flanagan MLA, John McCallister MLA, Robin Swann MLA and Glyn Roberts pictured outside the Capitol Building
Phil Flanagan MLA, John McCallister MLA, Robin Swann MLA and Glyn Roberts pictured outside the Capitol Building

NIABT delegation pictured with Susan Davis, Founder and Chairman of Susan Davis International
NIABT delegation pictured with Susan Davis, Founder and Chairman of Susan Davis International

Phil Flanagan MLA, Colin Neil, Nicola Bothwell, Christine Watson, Robin Swann MLA and John McCallister MLA pictured outside the 9/11 Museum in New York
Phil Flanagan MLA, Colin Neil, Nicola Bothwell, Christine Watson, Robin Swann MLA and John McCallister MLA pictured outside the 9/11 Museum in New York

Pat Ramsey MLA pictured with Andrea Haughian, VP Development Invest NI USA
Pat Ramsey MLA pictured with Andrea Haughian, VP Development Invest NI USA

Pat Ramsey MLA, Robin Swann MLA and John McCallister MLA pictured with New York New Belfast Conference delegates
Pat Ramsey MLA, Robin Swann MLA and John McCallister MLA pictured with New York New Belfast Conference delegates

Pat Ramsey MLA pictured with Ambassador David O’Sullivan, Head of the Delegation of the European Union
Pat Ramsey MLA pictured with Ambassador David O’Sullivan, Head of the Delegation of the European Union

Christine Watson and Wilfred Mitchell pictured with James Bond at Living Classrooms, Baltimore
Christine Watson and Wilfred Mitchell pictured with James Bond at Living Classrooms, Baltimore

Judith Cochrane MLA chairs a New York New Belfast Conference session on Transformational Projects in Cities on the Rise
Judith Cochrane MLA chairs a New York New Belfast Conference session on Transformational Projects in Cities on the Rise

John Rooney, Pat Ramsey MLA, Robin Swann MLA and Dr Joanne Stuart OBE pictured with David Slack, Vice President, Government Affairs Bombardier and Ashleigh de la Torre, Principal at The Bockorny Group
John Rooney, Pat Ramsey MLA, Robin Swann MLA and Dr Joanne Stuart OBE pictured with David Slack, Vice President, Government Affairs Bombardier and Ashleigh de la Torre, Principal at The Bockorny Group