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Open University Connected NI Programme Showcase

The Open University (the OU) showcased the institution’s research and knowledge exchange activity as an opportunity for partnerships across Northern Ireland at an event in the Belfast office recently.

As part of the Connected NI programme, the OU has received funding from the Department for Economy to encourage, ease and increase potential knowledge exchange links between academia and industry – particularly with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  

Focusing on the two key research institutes within the OU – the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) and the Knowledge Media Institute (KMI) – this event showcased the partnerships between the OU, education providers, government and industry. Stakeholders in attendance included the local FE colleges (including Belfast Metropolitan College, South Eastern Regional College, Southern Regional College and South West College), a l​ocal HE provider (Queens University, Belfast), the Department for Economy and local SMEs. The event successfully demonstrated how collaboration serves as a catalyst for real innovation. 


The academics speakers, Alan Fletcher, Business Development and Laboratory Manager at the Knowledge Media Institute (KMi), highlighted some aspects of the OU’s work across several domains with a focus on collaboration between academic, government and industry to consider the value that this brings to all parties. Whilst, Martin Weller, Professor of Educational Technology, focused on the work of the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) at the OU and how it researches the impact of educational technology, including learning analytics, assessment, open education resources and MOOCs. Martin also highlighted the latest Innovating Pedagogy report which annually examines trends in education.

The Open University will be seeking to explore these potential collaborations further in the next few months and strengthen the offering of the OU in Northern Ireland.


​For more information about knowledge exchange activity across the OU in Northern Ireland please contact: ​​

For media enquiries:

Contact Christine Murphy

Communications Manager
Tel 028 9053 6219