Why Kainos’ £10 Million Investment in Belfast is Bigger than Money

Kainos is a British digital design company operating in the corporate space, based in Belfast. They’re about to invest £10 million to develop the use of Generative AI in the workplace. We’re used to quoting figures in the hundreds of billions of dollars when writing about tech investments. So what makes this minnow-sized, £10 investment in Belfast significant?

Well, Kainos itself is a great ambassador for Belfast and Northern Ireland. It’s a respected business-enabler in digitization in 23 countries. The company is already involved in with the UN, Ministry of Defence and the National Crime agency regarding AI. Whilst being a profitable entity, Kainos was founded as a joint venture between Fujitsu and The Queen’s University of Belfast in 1986. The idea was to create a business incubator. And it’s in this space where their investment today becomes significant.

Because their legacy is about human growth in a technological world.

A new centre for learning

To create a tech hub for Generative AI in Belfast is like opening a new school to get gets future-proofed. Firstly, the benefit to the community is incalculable. Secondly, the stature of Kainos itself virtually guarantees further interest and investment in Northern Island’s tech landscape.

Northern Ireland itself is a pleasantly peculiar place. It’s British, but it’s also not British. It enjoys probably the best governmental infrastructure in the world – Westminster – but its citizens view the border with Eire as nothing more than a stupid fence. This is even more interesting given the Brexit lunacy. And Belfast? Home to the Titanic and that other Titanic-sized disaster, the DeLorean (calm down, Back To The Future fans), Belfast is just looking for another tech industry where it can contribute in a meaningful way.

Kainos just opened the door to that wish.

The last time Inside Telecom visited Belfast was, coincidently, when Joe Biden came over to profess his Irish ancestry. Oh yes, he was also there to brag about the Democrats’ role in bring peace to Northern Ireland in 1994. The city was thrown into chaos and I personally was nearly run over by a military interceptor unit who were rehearsing for ol’ Joe’s arrival. Not sure why they were rehearsing to run people over, to be honest.

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