Discovery, Creativity and Technology

Dynamic Strands of Innovation


1887 - John Boyd Dunlop invents the first pneumatic (inflatable) tyre.

1898 - Samuel Cleland Davidson develops the centrifugal fan to optimise his tea machinery based at the Sirocco Works.

1928 - Harry Ferguson patents the three-point linkage device, enabling attachments to be mounted on a tractor rather than towed.

1969 - Northern Ireland Technology Centre opens, bridging the gap between academia and industry in manufacturing technologies. It celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019.

2015-2106 - University spin-out turned world-wide technology business, Kainos, floats on the London Stock Exchange.


1867 - Harland and Wolff’s revolutionary ship design is launched, making Belfast a world-leader in ship-building for the next century.

1993 - Ciaran Carson wins the inaugural T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry for First Language: Poems.

1994 - Willie Doherty receives the first of two nominations for the Turner Prize for Modern Art.

1995 - Seamus Heaney is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Ulster Orchestra’s summer series of BBC Invitation Concerts is established, giving thousands of people the opportunity to listen to its music each year.

2010 - Susan Philipsz becomes the first sound artist to win the Turner Prize for Modern Art.

2015 - Colin Davidson is commissioned to paint Angela Merkel for TIME magazine’s front cover.

2015-2016 - University spin-out turned worldwide technology business, Kainos, floats on the London Stock Exchange.

2018 - Anna Burns’ novel, Milkman, is awarded the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

After a decade of production, Game of Thrones finishes filming, leaving burgeoning Creative
Industries and Tourism sectors as its legacy.

2019 - Lisa McGee’s hit series, Derry Girls, receives a BAFTA nomination for Best Scripted Comedy TV Programme.


1917 - James Murray patents a production process for Milk of Magnesia.

1944 - James Martin develops the ejector-seat and by 1949 ejector seats have been fitted in all British Military jet aircrafts.

1964 - John Stewart Bell publishes a paper presenting Bell’s Theorem, a pioneering discovery in the field of quantum physics.

1965 - Professor Frank Pantridge invents the portable defibrillator. By 1990, these have been fitted in every front-line UK ambulance.

1967 - Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Anthony Hewish discover the pulsar.

2004 - The Centre for Secure Information Technologies opens – the largest facility of its kind. By 2019, 45 new companies had been created, and over 2,700 new job opportunities generated.

Back to top