ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Thursday, 08 March 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting began at 10.35am in public session.

1.  Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2.  Minutes of meeting held on 1 March 2012

Agreed:  The draft minutes of the meeting on 1 March were agreed.

3.  Chairperson’s Business

Members noted a request from Mutual Energy to meet with the Chair to discuss the proposed gas storage facility at Islandmagee.

Agreed: Chair and Deputy Chair to meet with Mutual Energy.

Members noted an invitation to members to a preview of the Titanic Belfast experience on 30th March.

Agreed: to seek more information on media reports that child pushchairs are not permitted in the Titanic building.

Members discussed whether the establishment of an ad hoc committee to examine the issue of motor insurance would have any implications regarding the remit of this committee. Members were informed the Department has confirmed that DETI has no remit in relation to motor insurance.

Agreed: to send a message to the Business Committee that the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment has no objection to the establishment of an ad-hoc Committee on motor insurance.

Members were informed the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Jobs, Social Protection and Education have agreed to visit Parliament Buildings on 1 May to meet with the Committee and the Committee for Education.

Agreed: to book lunch in the Members’ Dining Room for the visit.

Members were informed that it is understood that discussions have taken place between the Minister, DETI officials, the Our Time Our Place Team and members of the Irish Football Association and Ulster Rugby, to discuss those organisations’ input to the NI 2012 Our Time Our Place Programme.

Agreed: to write to the Minister to seek clarification on the matter and to ask what plans are in place to involve Ulster GAA in the future.

4.  Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

5.  Inquiry into Research and Development: Queens University Belfast

Officials joined the meeting at 10.45am.

Members received an oral briefing from Scott Rutherford, Director of Research and Enterprise and Professor Tony Gallagher, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Queens University Belfast.

Key issues discussed included infrastructure and expertise requirements for research & development, changes to procedures for Knowledge Transfer Programmes and promotion and support requirements from government for research and development.

Paul Givan joined the meeting at 11.10am.

Phil Flanagan left the meeting at 11.20am.

Officials left the meeting at 11.26am.

Stephen Moutray left the meeting at 11.26am. 

6. Inquiry into Research and Development: University of Ulster

Officials joined the meeting at 11.27am.

Members received an oral briefing from Tim Brundle, Director of Innovation and Tony Bjourson, Director of the Bio-Medical Sciences Institute.

Key issues discussed included implementation requirements for research and development, bureaucracy at all levels in the process, government structures to support research and development and the need for more opportunities for venture capital.

Paul Frew left the meeting at 11.46am.

Daithí McKay joined the meeting at 12.00pm.

Paul Givan left the meeting at 12.00pm.

Officials left the meeting at 12.14pm.

Agreed: In the absence of Mr Robin Newton, the Chair will act as Inquiry Rapporteur.

7.  Proposed Amendments to Insolvency Limits

Members discussed the written briefing.

Agreed: to request an oral briefing on the proposals following the consultation.

8.  Correspondence

Members noted the following items of correspondence:

i. Letter to the Chair from the Minister on the Sustainable Energy Action Plan. 

Agreed: to receive an update from the Department on progress with the implementation of recommendations from that inquiry.

ii. Correspondence from the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development on the Food Hotel China Show. 

Agreed: to forward the letter to the Department to respond directly to the Agriculture Committee, copying in this Committee.

iii. Invitation to members to a lunch with a delegation from the Canada-UK Inter-Parliamentary Association on 21 March 2012. 

iv. Response from the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture regarding the Common Arrangements for Gas (CAG) project.  

Agreed: to consider the correspondence next week as part of the briefing from the Utility Regulator on the issue.

v. Correspondence from the Department on the Prompt Payment of Invoices.  

vi. Letter to the Chair from Ofcom on proposals for mobile-broadband coverage. 

Agreed: to receive an oral briefing from Ofcom following consultation.

vii. Letter from Dairy UK Ltd requesting a meeting with the Chair on “Action for Growth”.

9.  Any other business

There were no other items of business.

10.  Date, time and place of next meeting 

The next meeting of the Committee will take place on Thursday 15 March at 10.30am, Northern Ireland Science Park, Innovation Centre, Belfast, BT3 9DT.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 12.20pm.

Mr Alban Maginness
Chair
Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment
15 March 2012

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