Development & Alumni Relations Office 


23 May 2016

The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), the first of four Global Research Institutes to be unveiled at Queen’s, was launched by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, at an event in the Northern Ireland Science Park on 23 May. 

His Royal Highness received a tour of the facility and saw at first-hand the world-leading research taking place in ECIT before unveiling a plaque to officially launch the Global Research Institute (GRI). During the tour Prince Charles was shown computer systems which prevent hackers from accessing water and electricity supplies as well as cutting-edge software which can stop cloning. He also watched a demonstration of new weather satellite technology.

GRIs are the University’s flagships for interdisciplinary research in areas of major societal challenge.

Speaking about the latest University initiative, Queen’s Chancellor, Dr Thomas J Moran, said: “Our research mission is to be distinguished by our academic strengths and recognised globally for the social, economic and cultural benefit we deliver through our research. Having His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales launch ECIT as a Global Research Institute is an honour and one befitting the occasion.”

ECIT’s unique innovation model, strong links with industry around the globe and its track record for attracting and creating high value jobs in the technology sector are factors which secured its elevation to Global Research Institute status within Queen’s. ECIT is made up of three world-leading Centres – the Centre for Secure Information Technologies, the Centre for Wireless Innovation and The Centre for Data Science and Scalable Computing.

President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s, Professor Patrick Johnston, said it was a significant visit: “Our Global Research Institutes bring together a critical mass of excellent researchers from a wide range of disciplines in world-class facilities to tackle some of the greatest global issues of our age.

“Our work in Cyber Security, which is one of the key tenets of ECIT, was recognised by Her Majesty the Queen earlier this year with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize. Through our Global Research Institutes, the four central pillars to our research at Queen’s, we are committed to advancing knowledge and changing lives.”

Professor John McCanny, Director of The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology at Queen’s said: “Our world has become increasingly digitised, affecting how we communicate, manage our finances, access healthcare and even interact with household devices. With more of our information held digitally and connected across multiple devices, significant new challenges are emerging: how can we detect and prevent information theft, fraud and attacks?”

In addition to ECIT, Queen’s other GRIs are: The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice; The Institute for Global Food Security and the Institute for Health Sciences.

For further information on ECIT visit:

To watch a video clip of the event, click on the image below. 


Media inquiries to Claire Kelly, Communications Officer for Research at Queen’s; telephone +44 (0)28 9097 5391.


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