GBP 1 bn boost to economy by Northern Ireland research facility for plastics processing
The focus of the new research facility is automation, robotics technologies and Industry 4.0 (Photo: Queen's University Belfast)
An advanced manufacturing innovation centre (AMIC), as a centre for practical research into plastics process technologies, is to be built in Northern Ireland after the local authority gave the GBP 100 mn (EUR 116 mn) project the green light last month.

The development is being led and delivered by Queen’s University Belfast (, alongside Ulster University ( and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council as part of the Belfast Region City Deal.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council said the project will be a state-of-the-art ‘Factory of the Future’ and the first of its kind in Northern Ireland. The focus is on topics such as Industry 4.0, automation and robot technologies. The expertise of the university's Polymers Processing Research Centre and the NI Advanced Composites and Engineering Centre, among others, will be used.

The building comprises three linear ‘pavilions’, separated by linear glass roof lights and vertical glass slots in elevation. Plans include an engineering hall of 4,500 m2, laboratory and clean room spaces of 1,185 m2, 1,059 m2 of social and education spaces over two floors and workspace of 1,568 m2.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Alderman Stephen Ross said, “AMIC will be a game changer for the industry, offering advanced manufacturing and engineering businesses access to the very latest technology, specialist equipment and expertise.”

Besides significantly boosting the local economy by more than GBP 1 bn, the centre will lead to the creation of more than 1,500 direct, indirect, and induced permanent jobs.

Building work on the AMIC facility will be carried out by contractor Henry Brothers (Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, UK; and is expected to start in spring 2024.
12.10.2023 [253740-0]
Published on 12.10.2023
AMIC: Forschungseinrichtung für Kunststoff-Prozesstechnologien in NordirlandGerman version of this article...

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