International Regulation Conference Puts the North West on the Map

The North West is to become a world leader in regulatory technology with the establishment of a RegTech Supercluster. 

This weeks conference ‘Navigating the Future of Regulation’, took place in Atlantic Technological University (ATU) in Letterkenny on Wednesday, 25th October - part of a North West RegTech Initiative being developed by Donegal County Council, Derry City & Strabane District Council, ATU and Catalyst, to establish a ‘Supercluster’- working across sectors, regulators and borders to become a recognised world leader in regulatory technology.  

The conference was moderated by Richard Curran, presenter of RTÉ Radio 1’s show ‘The Business’, and welcomed Dara Calleary, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation to speak around the challenges and regulation of emerging technologies –

Minister Calleary believed that the title of the conference Navigating the Future of Regulation, the word navigating was apt saying “I believe we are at a major crossroad in the regulation of emerging technologies that play such a major role in our lives.

“The EU has been ahead of the curve in developing a regulatory framework for digital, and is setting global standards with its groundbreaking regulations for online digital services and AI among other things. Ireland has played an active role in the shaping of these regulations.”

The conference heard from the range of inspirational speakers from across different sectors and cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence – including Nell Watson, an international trailblazer for ethical AI who is Executive Consultant on philosophical matters for Apple, as well as the President of the European Responsible Artificial Intelligence Office and is currently writing a book ‘Taming the Machine’.

Other speakers included, for example, Orla Flynn, ATU President; Michaela Black, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at University of Ulster; as well as Nicola Anderson, Chief Executive of FinTech Scotland, who welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with the North West in launching a new Innovation Lab in Scotland.  Whilst, Professor Peter Kawalek from the University of Loughborough, speaking on AI, described the North West as “the right location for a supercluster, as a space for profound thinking and innovation, rather than a large city like London”.

The conference also heard from panels of experts and industry leaders in the specific sectors of financial services and health & life sciences, exploring challenges and opportunities – and how the proposed ‘Supercluster’ in the North West could address these and position itself as a world-leader

The conference played its part as an important platform to bring together policy makers, regulators, industry experts and regulated organisations from around the world to discuss and shape the future of regulation, and the role of emerging technologies, in our rapidly changing world.  Regulation affects all of us and is a huge cost to industry in terms of compliance – one that will become more significant with the introduction of new regulations around Corporate Sustainability. 

Cllr Martin Harley, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council who opened the conference said “We were delighted to welcome people in person, and online from across the world, to provide a valuable opportunity to explore regulatory challenges that cross international borders and impact across all sectors”

“The conference also showed how the North West is the compelling location for the world’s first, multi-sector, ‘Regulatory Supercluster’ – given our unique multi-jurisdictional border location - and impressive track record of strategic cross-border partnership working. We are in an unique position to tap into huge market opportunities to solve global regulatory challenges for the benefit of the wider economy”.

Cllr Patricia Logue, Mayor of Derry City & Strabane District Council, welcomed speakers to a reception in Derry the evening before the conference said “It is my privilege and great pleasure to welcome the speakers to the North West City Region, to have your expertise and knowledge, and to share in our vision to position the region at the leading edge of Regulation Technology using smart technologies to drive growth and innovation across our key growth sectors – which will boost productivity, innovation and competitiveness and also importantly create jobs”.

The vision now is to take this project to the next stage in terms of securing funding to develop campuses in Letterkenny and Derry as well as establish a digital supercluster that can become a centre of excellence and innovation for the rest of the world.

You can watch back the full event online below!

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