#worldclassNI

People from NI don’t like to shout about what they achieve. We’re content just to ‘get on’, producing world class innovations and successes. Over the past 400 years we’ll never dare to claim that we’re the best in the world, although many may rate George Best, Rory McIlroy, Harry Ferguson, Seamus Heaney, C.S.Lewis… in that category. We’re happy being known as some of the people who have been the best for the world – the inventors of the steam turbine, the defibrillator, 4 wheel drive… even hot chocolate!
People from NI have quietly innovated and succeeded in a way that means we can truly state that we ‘Punch above our weight’, well beyond any other population on the planet. With only 1.8 million people, we are roughly 0.025% of the world’s population, which means that we should only ever win trophies, invent things, produce items and have world famous icons to that ratio. Over the past 400 years, per capita, we have exceeded that ratio. We’re proud to be known as one of the most talented populations on the planet. And every now and then we produce something that, or someone who, is a bit special – that is considered around the globe as ‘World Class’.
We have a world class landscape – our tiny space hosts the Giants Causeway, a World Heritage Site often referred to as the ‘8th Wonder of the World’. We house the world’s fastest road race, the world’s oldest Golfing Union, film the world’s most watched TV show (Game of Thrones) here.
As for our people, it took a world class work ethic for a population of under 400,000 to churn out linen and ships at the rate we did, to be known as the Linen Capital of the World and the Shipyard of the World in the 18th and 19th Centuries. And we’re proud to mention that one of the greatest ever footballers (Best), poets (Heaney), storytellers (C.S.Lewis), scientists (Bell – who proved Einstein wrong), golfers (McIlroy), musicians (Van Morrison) … all came from NI. People from the geographical space that is NI have been innovating since the formation of the modern commercial world in the 1600’s. Our first innovation of that period, Bushmills Whiskey, founded in 1608, survives to this day. The ejector seat, defibrillator, tea drying machine, Delorean all followed.
To the modern day, world class innovations and successes can be found in our Silicon Valley in Belfast, Film Industry, Cyber Security (CSIT, the UK’s centre for Cyber Security), Renewable Energy (SeaGen experimenting with tidal power in Strangford Lough, downstream from where monks created the world’s first tidal power in Nendrum in AD800), Academia (Queens University, UU), Food sector (2015 recognised for some of the safest food in the world)… the list goes on. All this from a place smaller that the the Metropolitan area of New York. Speaking of America, did we mention that quarter of the US Presidents originate from here and that our DNA is found in history-makers around the globe?
NI is a recognised Creative Capital of Europe. A small population of highly talented people with a brilliant history churning out World Class output annually. We’re laying the foundations for the next 400 years. And so we invite the world to visit NI. To invest in us, with us and to help us develop our youth … our future.
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Punching above our weight since 1608

1608, Bushmills, Co. Antrim: Sir Thomas Phillips set up the world’s first licensed distillery, using water from the Bush river to make whiskey. Bushmills whiskey, the world’s oldest whiskey brand, is still leading the world today (and you thought the Scots were the pioneers…?)
Sir Thomas was the first pioneer of a long line of pioneers who built our globally recognised commercial trading hub. Visit Commercial Court in Belfast to step back into the 17th Century, to see where it all began.
bush

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