Northern Ireland technology hub Catalyst has appointed three experienced non-executive directors to its board to help oversee the implementation of its new five-year strategy.

Professor Mark W.J Ferguson, Jeanette Walker and Paul Hannigan have joined the board at the same time that Alec McRitchie and Claire Colhoun will be stepping down after serving 11 and five years respectively.

Catalyst is a science and technology hub focused on fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, supporting transformative businesses and developing Northern Ireland’s tech industry.

It works with an extensive network of volunteers and partners to deliver programmes and provide support to the tech and start-up community.

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The organisation this year launched a new five-year strategy which is focused on supporting innovation-driven enterprises and enabling more of Northern Ireland’s population to access opportunities created by leading technology sectors of the economy.

Jeanette Walker is the former director of the Cambridge Science Park and brings extensive experience to the board from a career in marketing and business.

Her previous roles include time as head of new business at East of England International and director of business development at the Eastern Region Biotechnology Initiative.

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In 2010, she was appointed director of Cambridge Biomedical Campus, where she was instrumental in attracting AstraZeneca and Abcam to the campus.

Prof. Mark Ferguson CBE previously served as the Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and was chief scientific adviser to the Government of Ireland.

As a member of NPHET, he was responsible in assisting with Ireland’s response to the Covid-19.

He has been awarded over £100m in start-up company equity funding and was also the co-founder and CEO of Renovo Group.

He is currently chair of the board of the European Innovation Council for the European Commission.

Paul Hannigan, president of Letterkenny Institute of Technology, comes from a management background, having completed an MSc in Management Practice in Trinity College Dublin.

He is a former member of the Higher Education Authority and is currently a board member of the Central Applications Office and chairman of its audit committee.

He currently serves on the Donegal County Development Board, the North West Regional Executive of IBEC, and Fáilte North West.