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Dara Calleary, Minister of State (Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation) pictured speaking at conference

North West City Region to establish Regulation Supercluster

The North West City Region of Ireland is proposing to establish the world’s first multi-sector regulation supercluster as an exciting and ambitious opportunity for the region, Ireland, UK and internationally.  It will bring together industry, academics and public bodies to drive world-class research and innovation – working across sectors, regulators and borders to become a recognised world leader in regulation technology.   The Supercluster will have a particular focus on ESG and AI to address key global challenges around climate sustainability and emerging technologies.

Regulatory Technology (‘RegTech’) refers to the use of technology to automate or improve compliance processes. Regulatory innovation is crucial in today’s rapidly changing landscape. With advancements in technology, regulations need to keep pace. However the process of compliance can be both burdensome and costly – with ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) regulations to have a significant impact.  This has presented a global market opportunity for RegTech to provide innovative and cost effective solutions.

The project will build on the region’s unique location straddling the EU-UK border and its cross-jurisdictional pool of talent, expertise and knowledge across multiple regulated sectors – as well as industry clusters and well established multi-sectoral partnerships.  By leveraging and building on this strong ecosystem, the Supercluster will drive innovation and be a magnet for further investment and economic growth of the region.

The project is being led by partners Donegal County Council, Derry City & Strabane District Council, Atlantic Technological University (ATU), Catalyst, Alpha Innovation and Ulster University – working closely with other key stakeholders across industry, academia and public investment agencies.

The Supercluster aims to position stakeholders at the forefront of addressing these complex international regulatory challenges by creating the required infrastructure, programmes, training and support to facilitate research, development and commercialisation of innovative regulatory solutions.  It will be both digital (to reach a global audience) and physical – with proposed campuses in Letterkenny and Derry/Londonderry to create an international centre of excellence.  These buildings will provide dedicated collaboration spaces and state-of-the-art facilities to support a range of services and support.

Feasibility assessment supported by Shared Island is complete, demonstrating a compelling case for establishing the Supercluster in the North West City Region, endorsed through regional, national and international engagement.  Partners are now working towards securing funding to realise the full ambition of the project and to develop pilot initiatives and build on momentum in the interim.

For further information view our Regulation Supercluster Summary.

You can view our international conference ‘Navigating the Future of Regulation’ which provided an important platform to explore the future of regulation and the role of the Supercluster. The conference included Minister Dara Calleary, inspirational AI speakers and expert panels in financial services and health & life sciences. 

“I believe we are at a major crossroad in the regulation of emerging technologies that play such a major role in our lives…. All stakeholders have a role to play in developing and navigating the future regulatory environment. Your ambition is that discussion and regulation isn’t just for European capitals, it is for every part of Europe, and you are laying out your ambition to be part of that and we look forward to supporting you as you go along that journey”. 

Dara Calleary, Minister of State (Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation) speaking at regulation conference

Navigating the Future of Regulation Conference

“The North West Regulatory Supercluster seeks to capture the advantages of the cross-border region between Derry and Strabane and Donegal. Leveraging the regulatory perspectives of the UK and EU, blended with the existing regulatory tech competences in Northern Ireland, this supercluster can deliver unique insights….and address challenges which reach across international borders: climate change, cybersecurity and legal and regulatory divergence. The City of London Corporation looks forward to discussing the best means of support for the Supercluster in more detail as the proposal matures”. 

Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli, The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of the City of London

“The North West is the right location for a supercluster, as a space for profound thinking and innovation, rather than a large city like London – and uniquely positioned as a consequence of Brexit. The supercluster concept is transformative – and the region and skills are perfectly suited for a contribution of international standing”. 

Professor Peter Kawalek, Director of Centre for Information Management, Loughborough

Quotes from stakeholders consulted as part of feasibility study:

“The region has a strong talent pool and a rich history of innovation. Establishing an international regulatory innovation supercluster in this region will not only create new job opportunities but also accelerate the development of ground-breaking regulatory frameworks that will shape the future of industries worldwide.”

“By leveraging Ireland’s existing strengths in sectors such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and fintech, this supercluster will attract top talent and create an ecosystem that nurtures disruptive ideas, leading to the development of forward-thinking regulations that drive growth and competitiveness.”