Bank of Ireland, EY and AVEVA named as headline partners for Catalyst’s Generation Innovation

Northern Ireland’s independent, non-profit science and technology hub, Catalyst has announced Bank of Ireland, EY and AVEVA as the three headline partners for its Generation Innovation Work Experience Programme 2024.

Focused on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, Catalyst’s Generation Innovation is a free work experience programme for 17-18-year-olds who have an interest in becoming innovators. The programme is designed to empower, enable and upskill young people for the workplace of tomorrow by pairing them with household business names such as Bank of Ireland, EY and AVEVA.

700 young people will take part in Generation Innovation in June across Belfast, Derry~Londonderry and Dungannon.

The three headline partners will provide an invaluable opportunity to participants by working with them first-hand to solve a real-world issue that company is facing. At the end of the programme, the teams will pitch their ideas to the senior management within the companies and their fellow peers, allowing for constructive feedback and potential future employment introductions.

Ally Armstrong, Generation Innovation Programme Manager at Catalyst said: “To be able to offer participants the opportunity to develop their minds and think like an innovator at a young age will be so beneficial to them in the future. Having three major businesses like Bank of Ireland, EY and AVEVA as our headline partners goes such a long way in making Generation Innovation a success. It gives our participants an insight into different businesses and the issues they face in what is set to be an incredibly valuable week of work experience.”

Colin Crangle, Partner & Business Engagement Manager at Bank of Ireland said: “We’re proud to partner with Catalyst for the Generation Innovation programme which equips young people with new skills in entrepreneurship and innovation, helping them to realise the wealth of opportunities that are available to them. Investing in our young people and nurturing entrepreneurial talent is vital to the development of our future business leaders.”

Ian Edwards, Tax Partner at EY Northern Ireland said: “We are delighted to continue to support the Generation Innovation programme this year as a headline partner. We look forward to working with the young people to build their skills and seeing the innovative solutions that they produce. We hope to share our vision of building a better working world and the breadth of future opportunities that could be available to them. We believe that investing in our young people is crucial to the success and growth of Northern Ireland.”

Katy Parkhill, Head of Product and Senior Manager in Research and Development at AVEVA said: “This marks our fourth consecutive year participating in the programme, and each year, we continue to be impressed by the depth of talent showcased by the young people of Northern Ireland. We look forward to seeing what innovative solutions they develop to address the challenges presented to them during the programme.”

Since it was first launched in 2018, over 1786 young people from over 151 schools and FE colleges have taken part in Generation Innovation, with 89 partnering companies supporting the initiative so far.

Alongside upskilling and working with innovative companies, participants will receive free Generation Innovation merchandise and gain access to the Generation Innovation alumni network.

Generation Innovation programme will take place in June across the following locations:

  • 11 – 14  June: Derry-Londonderry, Millennium Forum
  • 17 – 21  June: Belfast – Catalyst, Queen’s Road
  • 24 – 27 June: Dungannon, The Junction

For more information on Generation Innovation 2024, please visit:

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