SMART Government officially launched outside Belfast City Hall on Thursday signifying a desire from public and private sector leaders to start a new conversation about the future of Northern Ireland.

The launch comes following intense discussions about the future of Northern Ireland amidst Brexit negotiations and marks almost two years from the collapse of a devolved Government.

As part of the SMART Global events series, SMART Government welcomes both public and private sector leaders from across Northern Ireland and Ireland to discuss initiatives being implemented to innovate and digitise our cities, enhance economic prospects and ensure service provision is citizen-focused.

SMART Government takes place on 17 January 2019 in the Titanic Hotel, Belfast. A range of expert speakers will join the event including from NI Direct, Belfast City Council, Tourism NI, Tourism Ireland, NI Electricity, Hume Brophy, Department for the Economy, Innovate UK, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Federation of Small Businesses NI, Vertical Structure, Uleska, Fathom, Core Systems and Liberty IT.

Caron Alexander, Director of Digital Shared Services for NI Direct will set the scene for the conference in terms of what it aims to achieve and topics under the spotlight. Belfast City Council representative Deirdre Ferguson will provide an update on the Smart Cities initiative for Belfast and its ongoing progress. Key themes of the day also include digitisation of public sector in the form of GovTech, prison and patient care, connectivity and infrastructure, democratising data and cyber security. Another hotly discussed subject will be that of Brexit and how the land lies for Northern Ireland. Joining this panel will be Prof. Deirdre Heenan from Ulster University, Roger Pollen, FSB NI and Conall McDevitt, Hume Brophy. An economic update will be provided by Danske Bank’s Chief Economist Conor Lambe.

SMART Government is partnered by Civica Digital, Schneider Electric, Liberty IT and the Federation of Small Businesses Northern Ireland.

SMART Global CEO Naomh McElhatton commented: “SMART Government comes at a time of considerable uncertainty among our business community and public sector. The name of the event is indeed ironic, however as business leaders it is our connective duty to set an example and take control. Conversations need to commence which progress Northern Ireland. It is our intention to showcase the collaborative work being done, alongside business solutions, that are delivering a productive Northern Ireland economy.”

Tickets for SMARTGov can be booked by visiting https://ti.to/smart/gov

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