Medical, Life and Health Sciences - Meet Belfast

Northern Ireland is a hub for cutting-edge research and innovation in the field of life and health sciences with expertise in precision medicine, medtech and clinical trials. Key companies include the Almac Group, Randox, Norbrook, Teva, Terumo BCT and Bemis.

Northern Ireland has a thriving life and health sciences sector that benefits from a strong collaborative approach between industry, academia and clinicians.

The region offers expertise across precision medicine, clinical trials and digital health. Northern Ireland also has clinical specialisms within the areas of oncology, cardiology, opthamology, respiratory and diabetes. Northern Ireland is a leading location for the life and health sciences industry. No.1 European destination city for new medical software development projects.



  • Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology
  • Centre for Stratified Medicine
  • Connected Health Innovation Centre
  • Centre for Experimental Medicine
  • The Intelligent Systems Research Centre
  • Nanotechnology and Integrated Bio Engineering Centre
  • Northern Ireland Molecular Pathology Laboratory
  • Administrative Data Research Centre Northern Ireland
  • Biomedical Sciences Research Institute (BMSRI)
Mothern and Child


With two universities ranked within the top seven in the UK, and with international excellence ratings of 96% or above, Belfast and Northern Ireland are world leading in nursing research fields. Nursing at Ulster University is ranked 33rd in the world and 6th in UK (QS World Rankings 2018), while Queen’s University Belfast School of Nursing and Midwifery is in the top 50 in the World (QS World Rankings by subject 2018).

Director of CCRCB

Cancer and Oncology

Belfast has become a leading light for cancer care and research into the disease. The Northern Ireland Cancer Centre and Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queen’s University are spearheading research into the latest and best ways to treat cancer, particularly through clinical trials.

Precision Medicine

Precision Medicine

Precision medicine is an area of substantial and rapidly growing focus in Northern Ireland, benefitting from the core strengths that underpin the region’s R&D infrastructure. Northern Ireland is home to a National Centre of Excellence for Precision Medicine in the UK. The centre has a focused clinical implementation group with the aim of accelerating the adoption of validated biomarkers and diagnostic solutions within the Regional Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust.

Connected Health

Connected Health

Northern Ireland’s strength in connected health is in the management of long term and chronic conditions. One of the responses highlighted that the largest volume of jobs was driven by ‘hands-on’ care. The TF3 telemonitoring service, for the remote monitoring of chronic conditions and the elderly, was also specifically mentioned and long standing strengths at both universities were recognised. The area has seen encouraging spin-outs from NIBEC, smart homes within SERG and the development of successful ECO systems and industry-led alliances.

European Commission awarded Northern Ireland the maximum of three stars as a reference site for Active and Healthy Ageing. Only 13 cites in Europe have a three-star rating.

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