Senior staff from Northern Ireland's Universities briefed the enterprise committee on an inquiry into research and development, on 8 March 2012.
The inquiry aimed to discover how the Northern Ireland economy could be helped by research and development.
Tim Brundle, director of innovation at the University of Ulster, said his institution worked closely with Invest NI.
He said this was because Invest NI was actively promoting inward investment and companies were looking for available and knowledgeable graduates.
Both the University of Ulster raised the matter of a 16% drop in the higher education fund for research.
Scott Rutherford, director of research and enterprise at Queen's University, said the fund "allowed universities to have in place the infrastructure, in terms of people and expertise, working alongside our academics to broker our gaps with industry and business".
He added that the cuts were "out of kilter with the rest of the UK" where he claimed the fund was seen as a key driver for universities to engage with outside organisations.
Enterprise committee chair Alban Maginness said: "What we need to be doing now is to enhance our research capability".