Posted on Tuesday 14 February 2017 by ub digital

Mcs ignites ni science fest

Pictured (l-r) with the official festival scientist is (l-r) Louise Smyth, Director, MCS Group, Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Brian Kingston and Festival Director, Chris McCreery. 

Northern Ireland recruitment firm MCS Group has put its corporate might behind this year’s NI Science Festival after being unveiled as a key funding partner for the iconic event, which officially launches on Wednesday 15th February.

The firm, which plays a key role in promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers in Northern Ireland is the only private sector funder for the festival which will host more than 150 engaging events across 25 venues, focusing on the wonders of science, technology, engineering and maths.

The 11-day science extravaganza begins on February 16th and is open to the public.

Louise Smyth, Director, MCS Group, said:

“There is an abundance of evidence which links student achievements in STEM areas to GDP growth and economic prosperity and Northern Ireland has the potential to be a hub of activity for careers in this area.

“Northern Ireland is already highly successful in this area, with home-grown businesses including Randox, First Derivatives, Almac and Andor leading a global charge, and in my 23 years working in recruitment I have never seen more exciting and diverse roles on offer.

“Many parents are unaware that there is a strong pipeline of new job opportunities available in STEM locally and we need an attitude shift and encouragement from them so that we can meet the high demand for these skills.

“International firms are continually amazed at the quality of teaching in Northern Ireland and the NI Science Festival showcases everything that STEM applies to in our everyday lives and behind each element there are plenty of careers.”

In addition to providing funding for the NI Science Festival, MCS Group is also sponsoring the highly-anticipated Future17 coding hackathon event on Saturday 18th February when a team of three tech-savvy 15-year-olds welcome 350 teenagers and international speakers to Titanic Belfast.

Started up by 15-year-old local tech-wiz Adam Flanagan out of a frustration at the lack of teen tech events in Belfast, its aim is to help inspire teenagers to get more involved in the tech industry.

MCS is also supporting the official Science Festival Opening Gala at the Ulster Hall on Wednesday, when two separate performances of ‘Anything but Bland’ – a large-scale orchestral and choral performance that combines 200 female singers of all ages with stunning video projection and the Ulster Orchestra to celebrate the life of Lilian Bland. In 1910, the young woman from Belfast became the first woman in the world to design, build and fly an airplane.

“It’s essential that we make science accessible and exciting and the NI Science Festival is a great vehicle to do that. MCS will continue to support and promote the Festival in delivering a programme of events that will engage and entertain thousands of people, and particularly women who still make up less than a fifth of the STEM workforce in the UK and Ireland,” MCS Group’sLouise Smyth added.

“Festivals such as these are critical to driving the local economy, and for us, as a specialist recruiter in ICT, Life Sciences and Engineering, education, skills and talent are vital, which is why we so committed to directly support the festival which promotes science in a variety of fun and engaging ways.”

Other key funders for the NI Science Festival 2017 include the Department for the Economy, Belfast City Council, Queen’s University and Tourism Ireland and Venues will include W5, Titanic Belfast, the Armagh Planetarium, the Black Box, the Nerve Centre and the Ulster Museum.

MCS Group was also a key funder for the NI Science Festival in 2016.

For more information on the festival and to book events, visit


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