Knowledge Transfer Ireland invites call for consultation on The National IP Protocol

13 November 2014: Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) has issued an open call for comments on The National IP Protocol entitled “Putting public research to work for Ireland” and its implementation in practice. The Protocol can be found at

Issuing the call, Dr. Campbell said: “Having operated under the Protocol’s guidance and mandate for the last two and a half years, it is now appropriate that we look at how it is working in practice. The Protocol was intended as a living document and KTI (the central Technology Transfer Office as envisaged at that time) was given responsibility to review and update it. The intention is not to replicate the good work done and the investment of time by the Intellectual Property Implementation Group members to produce the Protocol but instead to understand any key issues that have arisen as it is implemented in practice.”

The Protocol deals primarily with collaborative research, where industry and Research Performing Organisation’s work together and, in particular, where industry and the State share the cost of the research. It also deals with industry access to the results of research that is 100% State-funded and contract research where industry pays the full cost of the research it commissions.

“We welcome views from right across the innovation ecosystem. We want to know what challenges you see and what recommendations you have to improve it. Our goal is to foster greater economic growth in Ireland.” said Dr. Alison Campbell, Director of KTI.

Contributions will feed directly into the research already undertaken at KTI, who intend to produce a white paper, making recommendations for change to the Protocol, for the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation by the end of Q1 2015.

Comments and recommendations on the Protocol and its implementation should be sent to: using the email subject: IP Protocol before the deadline of 28th November 2014.


For more information please contact:
Seamus Coogan, Enterprise Ireland , Tel: +353 (0)1 727 2714 

About Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI)

KTI is the State-funded central knowledge transfer office operated by Enterprise Ireland in partnership with the Irish Universities Association. KTI’s role is to actively support the commercialisation of State-funded research. Its mission is to support business, the public sector and the research base to maximise State-funded research by exchanging knowledge and transferring technology, ideas and expertise into the hands of business and the public sector swiftly and easily for the benefit of the economy and society.

KTI also works with the technology transfer / industry liaison offices to build and strengthen the knowledge transfer system at Ireland’s research performing organisations through the State-funded programme Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative 2 (TTSI2, 2013-2016).

Publication of 2014 results from the Irish Survey of Student Engagement

Nearly 20,000 Students Provide Feedback in National Survey to Enhance their Higher Education Experience

The results of a national survey of third level students, published today (Tuesday 4th November 2014), will help Irish higher education institutions to enhance the quality of education they provide.  Over 19,800 students across 30 higher education institutions responded to the survey and details of their experiences will be used to inform institutional and programme/course development, as well as national policy. It is the first system-wide survey of its kind in Europe and one of only a handful of similar surveys worldwide.

Participating institutions are committed to providing effective feedback on survey results and to taking appropriate action. A follow-up report will be published in January 2015 to provide examples of how individual institutions are making use of the evidence generated by this national survey.

Commenting on the 2014 Report, the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, said, “The Irish Survey of Student Engagement demonstrates the determination of Irish higher education institutions to listen to their students. I look forward to institutions using these findings, along with their other quality assurance mechanisms, to ensure that students’ engagement with their higher education continues to improve. In particular the follow-up report in January will be important in highlighting actions that individual institutions are taking on foot of this survey to continually improve the student experience.” 

Following a successful pilot in 2013, the first full survey was offered in 2014 to all first year undergraduate, final year undergraduate and taught postgraduate students in thirty higher education institutions including all Universities, all Institutes of Technology and all Colleges of Education.

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement (ISSE) is designed to ask students directly about their full experience of higher education. Student feedback provides institutions with valuable information to identify effective practice and provision and to prompt awareness of, and action on, any particular issues or challenges that affect students.

President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), Laura Harmon, said “With almost twenty thousand responses, this is one of the clearest pictures we have of students’ opinions of their college experience. College staff and Students’ Unions must now work together to ensure these issues are being followed up at an institutional level. The ISSE project has been successful in its initial years, but it’s now vital that results are acted upon so that students feel they are really being listened to.

Student engagement with institutional life is a vital ingredient to ensure that students develop key skill-sets such as critical thinking, problem-solving, writing skills, team work and communication skills.

Some results from the 2014 survey

  • 63% of all participating students selected often or very often, when asked if they were improving knowledge and skills that will contribute to their employability (62% in 2013 pilot)
  • 67% of all participating students reported positive relationships with teaching staff, finding them to be available, helpful and sympathetic (a score of 5 or greater on 7 point scale). (72% in 2013 pilot)
  • 52% of all participating students selected quite a bit, or very much when asked if they were solving complex real world problems (50% in 2013 pilot)
  • 80% of all participating students selected good or excellent, when asked how they would evaluate their entire educational experience at their institution (79% in 2013 pilot)
  • 65% of all participating students selected often or very often, when asked if they used an online learning system to complete an assignment (60% in 2013 pilot)
  • 60% of all participating students selected often or very often, when asked if they had conversations with students of a different ethnicity/nationality (58% in 2013 pilot)
  • 29% of all participating students selected plan to or done, when asked if they were considering Study abroad/student exchange (25% in 2013 pilot)
  • 78% of all participating students selected quite a bit or very much, when asked if they spend a significant amount of time studying and on academic work (76% in 2013 pilot).

The ISSE project is funded by the HEA and co-sponsored by the Higher Education Authority, Institutes of Technology Ireland (IOTI), the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). The survey was developed in response to a key recommendation of the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 that every higher education institution should put in place a comprehensive anonymous student feedback system to inform institutional and programme/course development, as well as national policy.

ISSE is based on best practice internationally as developed by the Australasian Survey of Student Engagement (AUSSE) since 2007 and the US National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) since 2000.


For more information contact:

Sean O’Reilly, Project Manager, Irish Survey of Student Engagement         01 7082952          085 8194551

Notes for the Editor:

More information can be found on

Report: The Irish Survey of Student Engagement – Results from 2014 (attached)

  • The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is the statutory policy and funding body for higher education
  • Institutes of Technology, Ireland (IOTI) is the representative body for thirteen of Ireland’s Institutes of Technology
  • The Irish Universities Association (IUA) is the representative body for Ireland’s seven universities
  • The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is the national representative body for students in higher education.

Irish SMEs and Higher Education Institutions collaborate in €9.1 million Horizon 2020 Success


17 October 2014

Irish SMEs and Higher Education Institutions collaborate in €9.1 million Horizon 2020 Success

Research collaborations between Irish SMEs and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have secured over €9.1 million in the first outcomes from the Horizon 2020 EU research and innovation programme. Irish research performers consistently achieved success rates above the EU average, outperforming organisations from France, Italy, Spain and the UK. In one programme, 57% of Irish participants were selected for funding, with one project ranked top in all of Europe. The funding will support research and innovation projects at 18 Irish research performers including nine SMEs, many of which are spin-outs from HEIs. Among the successful projects are a number involving Irish organisations working with their counterparts in Northern Ireland.

Damien English, Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation, said “I am very pleased by this successful outcome in Horizon 2020 for Irish research performers. Ireland has set ambitious targets for Horizon 2020 performance and these first successes place Ireland on the road to achieving those targets. What is particularly impressive is the strong engagement of Irish SMEs in the programme, and I am also delighted to see the level of cross-border collaborations with research teams in Northern Ireland.

The successes came in the area of Horizon 2020 known as the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, and build on Ireland’s success in the predecessor Marie Curie Actions under Framework Programme Seven. Over €110 million of research funding was secured between 2007 and 2013, supporting around 500 high-value research jobs and studentships.

The largest portion of the new Horizon 2020 funding will underpin Irish involvement in pan-European Innovative Training Networks (ITN), offering high-quality research training for postgraduate students. The remainder will support collaborative research visits between Ireland and research performers worldwide through Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE). An important aspect of these programmes is the opportunity for students and researchers to work with industry and other employment sectors, strengthening the links between academia and the wider job market and stimulating entrepreneurship in the Irish research community.

Successful projects include:

  • Waterford Institute of Technology and University of Ulster developing wrist and arm sensing technologies for detection and monitoring of irregular heartbeat, along with  universities and a health care trust in the UK and France, and a company in Croatia.
  • Arup Consulting Engineers, collaborating with University College Dublin and partners in the UK, France, Sweden and Spain to build and maintain safer buildings, transport and energy infrastructure.
  • Carlow’s T. E. Laboratories Ltd., Dublin City University and Queen’s University Belfast working with companies and HEIs across Europe to develop better processes for dealing with contaminated land.

Speaking about his project, Mark Bowkett, Managing Director of T.E. Laboratories said “Engaging in Horizon 2020 is a key part of our business plan. Working in collaborative projects such as this helps us to develop relationships with universities here and abroad, and the European collaborations assist us in finding new markets for our products and services.”


For more information contact:

Dr Jennifer Brennan, Marie Skłodowska-Curie National Contact Point          Tel: 01 6764948


Note to the Editor:

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions are a European Union Funding Programme which supports researchers at all stages of their careers, across all research disciplines and in all employment sectors. It is named after the famous Polish-born Nobel Prize winning researcher. The opportunities in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions range from individual fellowships for talented researchers to large-scale pan-European research training networks.

The Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office is jointly operated by the Irish Universities Association and the Irish Research Council.  The office provides advice and support on preparing applications for Marie Skłodowska-Curie funding and the management of Marie Skłodowska-Curie awards.

Investing in Higher Education will Reap Rewards – but who should fund it?

Press Release from IUA Symposium ‘21st Century Universities: Performance and Sustainability’ 

Dublin, September 29th, 2014 − A major International Symposium to be held in Dublin today, will throw the spotlight on a growing crisis in Irish Higher Education. The symposium, 21st Century Universities: Performance and Sustainability organised by the Irish Universities Association, brings together respected experts from across the globe to review the performance and regulatory challenges facing the third level sector, and most importantly, how to overcome the current crisis in funding sustainability. The symposium will also hear from the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD in her first public address to the sector.

Minister for Education and Skills Jan O'Sullivan TD with IUA University Presidents at the Symposium - 21st Century Universities - Performance & Sustainability

Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan TD with IUA University Presidents at the Symposium – 21st Century Universities – Performance & Sustainability

An increase in Ireland’s population combined with increased participation rates at third level has seen consistently growing student numbers entering higher education institutions. This is set against a decline in income per student of 22% from 2008-2014, coupled with increased class sizes. There has also been virtually no new state investment in capital infrastructure in Irish universities and colleges since 2008, and 40% of the system’s infrastructure is now below standard according to the Higher Education Authority. There has been an overall decrease in exchequer funding of all higher education institutions by 32% in the past six years from €1,393.2m to €938.9m.

Speaking on the aim and significance of the symposium, the Chair of the IUA, and Provost of Trinity College, Dr Patrick Prendergast said: “Successful countries have high quality higher education systems, and all high-functioning knowledge economies have universities of global reputation. We want to look at the issues of competitiveness, performance, regulation, governance and financing of higher education institutions. We want to understand Ireland’s position on these issues in comparison to other countries and we want our thinking about future sustainability to be informed by best international practice.”

Minister Jan O'Sullivan with IUA Chair  & Provost of Trinity College Dr. Paddy Prendergast and IUA CEO Ned Costello

Minister Jan O’Sullivan with IUA Chair & Provost of Trinity College Dr. Paddy Prendergast and IUA CEO Ned Costello

In attendance at the symposium will be representation across all higher education institutions and the education sector as well as industry, Government and local authority among other key sectors.

US Education public policy adviser, Art Hauptman addresses the issues of funding sustainability: “Sustainability cannot be accomplished by maintaining existing policies that place almost total dependence on the public sector to fund rapidly growing demand for higher education. The biggest issue facing Irish higher education is not the level of national investment but the mix of public and private funding.” According to Mr. Hauptman, “the key then for achieving sustainable policies in the future is for Ireland to increase its level of private investment while maintaining public investment levels in higher education. This can be done in several ways that don’t require extraordinary sacrifice from parents and students, including a broad reconsideration of the fee and support schemes that would rely on private funds to pay for future growth in the system.”

Professor Stephanie Fahey of Ernst and Young, Australia presents a view of a future in which higher education institutions will have to change radically to cope with globalisation of competition and the digital revolution. She says: “while the HEA System Performance Report explicitly recognises the need for Irish Universities to be globally competitive, it is less clear to an external observer how this will be funded and how this can be delivered in an environment where student numbers staff:student ratios are both on the rise.”

US education systems management expert Aims McGuinness reviews trends in governance in Ireland and the US and makes a number of recommendations for change. He calls for a much stronger link between national goals and investment in higher education. He says that: “The lesson learned from both countries is that top-down mandates and regulation have a limited –if not negative impact– on fundamental change within academic institutions.

OECD Policy Analyst Patricia Mangeol presents the findings of the OECD Survey of Education and looks at the performance of Ireland relative to other OECD countries. Some key findings include the exceptionally high returns to both the individual and the state from third level education. This contrasts with the decline in investment by government – which is particularly striking in light of the growing demand for higher education and rising student numbers. A consistent theme running through the speakers’ presentations is the need to ensure that government regulation and institutional governance systems support university competitiveness and performance, rather than hindering it.

European University Association governance expert Thomas Estermann says that university autonomy improves quality and efficiency. However, when comparing Ireland to other European countries he finds that: “Ireland scores well in terms of academic freedom, but it is let down by a number of restrictions, especially on institutions’ freedom to manage their human resources. The particular worry is that our latest analysis shows that the balance of autonomy and central control is tilting in the wrong direction”.

Other presentations at the symposium include business leader Gerry Collins who will speak about the pharmaceutical industry and its relationship with higher education, and Ms Liesl Elder, Director of Development at Oxford University, who will talk about the potential of philanthropy to support higher education sustainability.

The proceedings will close with a panel discussion moderated by eminent broadcaster John Bowman. Panelists include President of the USI, Laura Harmon, Director General of Ibec, Danny McCoy, Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills, Sean O’Foghlu, former Lead Education Specialist at the World Bank, Mary Canning and Presidents of UCD and Letterkenny IT, Andrew Deeks and Paul Hannigan.

IUA CEO Ned Costello said: “We are privileged to have the opportunity to bring together such a broadly based group of international experts. It is clear from their analysis that the pressures on higher education in terms of funding and regulation are not unique to Ireland. However, the symposium will also make clear the scale of the challenge facing us and the need for urgent action. As national recovery begins to take hold, there is too much at stake to jeopardise our future through complacency or prevarication.”


For more information contact;

Lia O’Sullivan Communications & Projects Manager, IUA Tel: + 353-1-7996022 / mobile 085 7141414 email:

NUI Galway Awarded €345,000 for pan European Community-based Learning Project

Lorraine McIrath, co-ordinator of CKI at NUI Galway, and member of Campus Engage Steering Committee, has been awarded €345,000 for an innovative EU project – Europe Engage. The project will deliver a number of key objectives to encourage a culture of civic engagement through the mainstreaming community-based learning as a Higher Education pedagogical approach in the EU.

The project will ensure the development of best practice and enable the building of the ‘community’ into the higher education curriculum resulting in significant benefits to the student, academic, university, community and nation.

This landmark invest will let EU students test acquired knowledge and skills in ‘real life’ employment based problem solving, and develop critical thinking in a work place to build applied ‘work ready skills’ . It also encourages student’s sense of civic responsibility, and citizenship. The project will deliver on EU cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices in this field.

 “We are living in an unprecedented era of social change with a global economic recession confronting many regions and nations and a recent surge in demonstrations that call for democratic action and change. Service-learning is a key approach in terms of embedding a culture of political and civic literacy among the student population within higher education. This is a pedagogical approach that ‘promotes student attainment of knowledge, values, skills and attitudes associates with civic engagement through a structured academic experience within the community.” Lorraine McIlrath, NUIG, Campus Engage, PI, Steering Committee

Community-based learning connects students and universities to the needs of wider society, maintains and develops student and staff civic identity and encourages healthy levels of social capital across the Europe labour market.

Europe Engage seeks to embed the idea of the civic university through community-based learning and its growth as a pedagogical approach within the participating universities. This dovetails with the ‘Modernisation of European Higher Education’ strategic priority through the Bologna Process and Declaration.

Higher education institutions involved include:

1.                    National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

2.                    University of Brighton, United Kingdom

3.                    University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

4.                    Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Netherlands

5.                    Instituto Superior de Psicología Aplicada, Portugal

6.                    University of Zagreb, Croatia

7.                    University of Bologna, Italy

8.                    Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania

9.                    Ghent University, Belgium

10.                University of Applied Science-Krems, Austria

11.                University of Helsinki, Finland

12.                Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain

For further information contact:

See more at:


Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Ruairi Quinn T.D officially launches the Campus Engage Charter on Civic and Community Engagement

Press Release – 16th June 2014

At a landmark event in Dublin Castle today 20 Presidents of Higher Education Institutions came together as leaders of higher education in Ireland, to publicly sign up to the 10 point Campus Engage Charter on Civic and Community Engagement. Under the charter the presidents underscore their commitment to the civic and community engagement role and responsibilities of their institutions.

Pictured at the launch of the Campus Engage Charter on Civic and Community Engagement, Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Ruairi Quinn T.D  with Presidents and Representatives of 20 HEI's who signed the Charter. Dublin Castle June 16th.

Pictured at the launch of the Campus Engage Charter on Civic and Community Engagement, Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Ruairi Quinn T.D with Presidents and Representatives of 20 HEI’s who signed the Charter. Dublin Castle June 16th.

Kate Morris, National Co-ordinator of Campus Engage pictured with the signed Camus Engage Charter for Civic and  Community Engagement.

Kate Morris, National Co-ordinator of Campus Engage pictured with the signed Camus Engage Charter for Civic and Community Engagement.

Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Ruairi Quinn TD with Paul Hannigan, President of Letterkenny IT and Chair of IOTI, Prof Patrick Prendergast Provost of Trinity College Dublin and Chair of IUA and Eamonn Fitzpatrick, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Ruairi Quinn TD with Paul Hannigan, President of Letterkenny IT and Chair of IOTI, Prof Patrick Prendergast Provost of Trinity College Dublin and Chair of IUA and Eamonn Fitzpatrick, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

Launching the Charter, Minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Ruairi Quinn T.D said, Today is an important recognition of commitment by Ireland’s higher education institutions to build on what has been achieved to date and place Ireland at the fore internationally in terms of promoting civic and community engagement by higher education.  The importance of ‘engagement’ is recognised in the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, and in the HEA’s performance framework, which both ask higher education institutions to engage openly with their community and wider society and for this to infuse every aspect of their mission.   I congratulate all involved in the realisation of the Charter, and specifically to the Presidents for their commitment.”

The launch of an Irish Charter for Civic and Community Engagement builds on the pioneering actions taken by other countries including Australia, UK and the US, who have signed up to similar agreements at national level to support and strengthen the civic role and responsibilities of higher education.

Opening the launch event, Prof Paul Hannigan, President of Letterkenny IT and Chair of Institutes of Technology Ireland (IOTI) said, This Irish Charter aligns us with best practice and captures the essential principles and the underlying purpose of engagement with communities as well as with enterprise”.  

The Charter was developed by Campus Engage, a HEA funded, national initiative with representation from 17 HEIs, IOTI and the IUA. Its role is to promote innovative teaching, learning and other activities in the area of civic and community engagement. 

In today’s times of economic uncertainly, and a policy context focused on developing our “knowledge society” there has been considerable emphasis on the contribution of Higher Education Institutions to economic recovery. Campuses across the country are building capacity and activating ‘bottom up’ student and staff-led initiatives such as community- based learning, community-based research and volunteering, to tackle the  skills deficit, contributing community-based research to inform public policy, engaging in political debate and providing evidenced-informed media debate on matters of public policy and public concern.

Closing the launch Prof. Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity College Dublin and Chair of the Irish Universities Association (IUA) said, “Closing the launch, Dr Patrick Prendergast, IUA Chair and Provost of Trinity College Dublin, said: “Civic engagement benefits both students and communities. Students get transferrable, ‘work-ready’ skills through accredited learning realised in volunteering, and community-based research and learning. These activities improve students’ capacity for problem-solving and critical thinking. Communities are enhanced by students’ energy and engagement with the public good.”


Issued by

Lia O’Sullivan, Communications and Projects Manager, Irish Universities Association. 48 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

+353 (o)1 6764948 / 7996022 email:

For further information and case studies for feature pieces contact Kate Morris, National Co-ordinator of Campus Engage, IUA, 086 8166490. Email:

Additional Notes:

Campus Engage is a national initiative which works with 17 higher education institutions to enable and embed civic and community engagement activity across campuses and communities in Ireland.

Campus Engage promotes community-based research, community-based learning and volunteering. Hundreds of community-based organisations currently work with the staff and students of our higher education institutions in these fields. Through practical experience this enables students, across all disciplines, to obtain ‘work ready’ skills which will meet the needs of Irish community-services employers. It also shapes the teaching and learning experience around real community needs. In addition, Campus Engage promotes new knowledge exchange between academic, community service providers, policy makers, and the public.

Campus Engage in action:

● Promotes innovative teaching, learning and other activities in the area of civic and community engagement

● Supports the implementation of accredited experiential community-based learning, community-based research, and volunteering to build transferable, applied ‘work ready skills’

● Undertakes research to build an evidence-base for the positive social impact of higher education civic and community engagement

● Develops resources and offers capacity building training to higher education staff and community partners

● Facilitates the creation of opportunities for campus-community partnerships

● Supports campus-community volunteering opportunities

● Builds awareness and promotes debate to inform our national policy framework for civic and community engagement.

More information is available on

Benefits of Civic Engagement:

Community-based research, teaching and learning, and volunteering presents opportunities for students to test acquired knowledge and skills, and increase the depth of their academic experience. It allows scope for ‘real life’ problem solving, and critical thinking in a community work place.

On a personal level, community-based activities increase learners’ sense of personal achievement and wellbeing. Surveys and evidence-reviews have shown that volunteers report lower levels of depression, increased life satisfaction and enhanced well-being.

In terms of civic responsibility, community engagement increases understanding of the facets of community-service, social justice, diversity, empathy and social responsibility. It encourages citizenship skills and greater involvement in community service after graduation.

While the number one health issue for young people is their mental health, we have evidence that community-based activities increase learners’ sense of personal achievement, sense of belief in oneself to achieve when the odds seem stacked against them, lowering levels of depression, increasing life satisfaction and enhancing wellbeing.

As the world economy no longer ‘pays for what employees know but for what they can do with what they know’, accredited community-based learning and research is becoming mandatory on campuses in countries such as the United States. The Person’s The Learning Curve – Education and Skills for Life 2014 report, which places Ireland’s education system in 9th place globally, listed 8 priority skills current students need to meet the ever changing needs of the global market. These include leadership; emotional Intelligence; entrepreneurship; global citizenship; problem solving; and team-work.

The National Strategy for Higher Education, 2011, 77 states:

Engagement with the wider community must become more firmly embedded in the mission of higher education institutions. Higher education institutions need to become more firmly embedded in the social and economic contexts of the communities they live in and serve.


Launch of National Policy Statement on Ensuring Research Integrity in Ireland

IUA Statement – 4th June 2014

The Minister for Research and Innovation Mr Sean Sherlock TD today welcomed the launch of a National Policy Statement on Ensuring Research Integrity in Ireland. Ireland sits close to the world’s top research performing nations, in terms of research quality and impact related to its size and this policy statement aims to commit the main organisations in Irish research to the highest standards of integrity in carrying out their research so that partners and other stakeholders, and the international research community may have full confidence in the Irish research system.

Welcoming the launch of the Statement, Minister Sherlock said, “I am confident that the Policy Statement provides a gold standard for researchers in Ireland. It also provides a framework for inter-agency cooperation in this important area, and provides proof that Ireland is a serious player in the global research arena. I would like to congratulate the IUA, and all of the agencies and institutions involved in the initiative, on the production of a key policy document for our national research system“.

Pictured launching the National Policy Statement on Ensuring Research Integrity in Ireland were Prof Ray O'Neill, VP VP for Innovation NUI Maynooth & Chair of Research Integrity Steering Group, with Prof Mary Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy and Dr. Graham Love, CEO, Health Research Board. Picture Jason Clarke Photography.

Pictured launching the National Policy Statement on Ensuring Research Integrity in Ireland were Prof Ray O’Neill, VP VP for Innovation NUI Maynooth & Chair of Research Integrity Steering Group, with Prof Mary Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy and Dr. Graham Love, CEO, Health Research Board. Picture Jason Clarke Photography.

The Irish public research system is made up of research performing organisations: mainly the Universities, Institutes of Technology, state research organisations and the hospital system along with the research funding organisations. This policy statement has been developed by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) in collaboration with the following organisations:

• Health Research Board (HRB)
• Royal Irish Academy (RIA)
• Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
• Institutes of Technology Ireland (IoTI)
• Higher Education Authority (HEA)
• Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)
• Enterprise Ireland (EI)
• Irish Research Council (IRC)
• Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) )
• Teagasc
• Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)

Chair of the Research Integrity Steering Committee, Prof Ray O’Neill, VP for Innovation at NUI Maynooth said that “While this policy statement has been developed jointly by the IUA and the listed sponsors, we believe that it provides a robust framework which might usefully be adopted by other research performing organisations in Ireland”.

The Irish Universities Association and its member institutions have long been committed to the highest standards of research conduct and integrity, and individual institutions have procedures in place to underpin this. Similar commitments to upholding integrity have been made by IoTI and its members, and by DIT and other organisations. However, the transparency of policy and practice will be enhanced by publication of a national statement which clarifies policy and sets out agreed good practice in promoting and ensuring research integrity. This commitment is shared by the universities, IoTI, DIT, Teagasc, RCSI and the main Irish research funding agencies; in particular, the
Health Research Board, Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the Higher Education Authority and the Royal Irish Academy.


The policy statement can be downloaded here:
National Policy Statement on Ensuring Research Integrity in Ireland 2014

Photographs available from Jason Clarke Photography:

For more information contact:Lia O’Sullivan, Communications Manager, Irish Universities Association.  Tel: 01 6764948


Launch of Knowledge Transfer Ireland

Launching Knowledge Transfer Ireland: Kevin Sherry, Manager International Sales & Partnering Enterprise Ireland, Dr. Alison Campbell, Director KTI, Richard Bruton T.D Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation and Ned Costello, Chief Executive of the Irish Universities Association (Dublin, 28th May 2014). Credit: Gary O’Neill Photo.

Launching Knowledge Transfer Ireland: Kevin Sherry, Manager International Sales & Partnering Enterprise Ireland, Dr. Alison Campbell, Director KTI, Richard Bruton T.D Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation and Ned Costello, Chief Executive of the Irish Universities Association (Dublin, 28th May 2014). Credit: Gary O’Neill Photo.

28th May 2014
Dublin, Ireland

Minister for Jobs launches Knowledge Transfer Ireland, aimed at making it easier to commercialise ideas from State-funded research and turn good ideas into good jobs

Richard Bruton T.D., Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation today (28th May 2014), launched Knowledge Transfer Ireland.

The purpose of the resource is to make it easier to commercialise – and ultimately create viable businesses and jobs from – State-funded research from all third-level institutes across the country.

Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) – the first resource of its kind in Europe – is the State-funded central technology transfer office, located in Enterprise Ireland and operated collaboratively by Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Universities Association.



Today’s announcement represents the delivery of a key commitment in the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 and is a significant step in making it easier to commercialise, and ultimately create jobs from, ideas developed through publicly funded research, which currently receives total funding of over €800 million per year. The key service offered is a web-portal that enables companies to identify experts, research centres and technology-licensing opportunities to benefit their business.

Making the announcement, Minister Bruton said: “Ireland has built up a substantial infrastructure, expertise and international reputation for scientific research and innovation over recent decades. Globally, we are currently ranked 10th out of 142 countries for innovation, while in Europe, we are ranked first out of 23 countries in terms of knowledge transfer performance of public research organisations. However as I have said many times before, the challenge now is turn more of this spending into viable business ideas and ultimately jobs.

“As of today, Ireland is the first and only country in Europe to give companies the opportunity to search multiple databases of the research talent, knowledge and technologies available in our publicly-funded research institutions. This is a significant milestone in the Government’s strategy, laid out in our Action Plan for Jobs, to build stronger links between the State research sector and industry. It will lead to increased business innovation, cost-efficiencies and ultimately job creation in Ireland”.

The formation of one office with responsibility for centralising national technology and knowledge transfer activity was a key recommendation in the national IP Protocol 2012.

The establishment of KTI advances the Government’s plan to strengthen and standardise the Irish knowledge transfer infrastructure in which it has already invested €30 million through Enterprise Ireland, working in co-operation with the Technology Transfer Offices in Irish Higher Education Institutes. A further €22million, up to end 2016, has been committed by the Government to increase the capacity of the knowledge transfer infrastructure.

The key service for companies is the new KTI web-portal which offers, for the first time:
o A comprehensive overview of the research capabilities of all Irish Universities, Institutes of Technologies and specialist research centres in one place
o Searchable databases of research expertise and talent
o Details of over 160 pre-commercial technologies developed research performing institutions which are available to license
o Access to all patents filed by Ireland’s publicly-funded research institutions

According to the recently appointed Director of KTI, Dr. Alison Campbell; “Knowledge Transfer Ireland is a bold new initiative which aims to make it easier for companies to leverage the commercial potential of Irish research and innovation through connecting them with cutting-edge expertise and opportunities and guiding them through the process of engaging with the research base”.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, welcomed the launch of the Knowledge Transfer Ireland office and its web-portal saying, “The commercialisation of research is a key priority of Enterprise Ireland and an activity that will be greatly enhanced by Knowledge Transfer Ireland. Having KTI located in Enterprise Ireland will enable us to greatly increase the flow of innovative knowledge and technology into companies in Ireland with the aim of increasing their turnover and employment”.

Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, said “this is a hugely welcome announcement and one which we have been working towards for some time. It is a part of our strategy to build better and stronger links between business and researchers, and will ultimately pay dividends in the form of jobs in Ireland. I commend all involved on this achievement and look forward to working on the project as it progresses”.

Irish Universities Association CEO, Ned Costello said, “the launch of KTI marks a further deepening of the relationship between higher education and enterprise and underscores the shared commitment to secure value from research”.

An Industry Advisory Board consisting of people from the business and investment community has been appointed to ensure the needs of industry are addressed.
For more information visit

Issued by: Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Press Office

For more information on this press release contact;
Grace Labanyi, Enterprise Ireland Tel: 00353(0)87 3286404 +353(0)17272746

Photos available from Gary O’Neill Photographer +353(0)877974300

Notes to the editor:

Ireland’s performance in knowledge transfer to date
Ireland is already scoring top of the class in Europe in terms of knowledge transfer – the European Commission Knowledge Transfer Study published in June 2013, ranked Ireland first (out of 23 countries) in terms of knowledge transfer performance of public research organisations in individual countries, and we have also been ranked third in the EU in the “Indicator of Innovation Output”, which measures the extent to which ideas from innovative sectors are able to reach the market, providing better jobs and making Europe more competitive. In addition, Ireland is ranked 10th in the WIPO Global innovation Index 2013

In recent years the Government, through Enterprise Ireland invested €30million to resource and up-skill the existing technology transfer professional in Irish Higher Education Institutes. This Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative resulted in a sea-change in terms of the quality and quantity of intellectual property transferred from Irish academic institutions into industry, for example, there was a seven fold increase in the number of technologies licensed by academic institutions to industry from 12 per year in 2005 to 85 in 2012 and the number of spin-out companies created each year averaged at 22, an increase of 450%.

A review of the TTSI investment commissioned by Enterprise Ireland showed that a sample of 65 companies who engaged with technology transfer offices between 2007 and 2012 created or retained 1,844 jobs and the creation of a further 2,128 jobs is anticipated by 2017.

Members of Industry Advisory Board to Knowledge Transfer Ireland
To ensure the needs of industry in Ireland are addressed by Knowledge Transfer Ireland, Industry Advisory Board (IAB) which consists of people from the business and investment community has been appointed. The members of the IAB are;
Mike Devane – American Chamber of Commerce
Karl Flannery (Chair) – Storm Technology Ltd
Barry Kennedy – Intel/ICMR/i2e2
John O’Sullivan – ACT Venture Capital
Alan Phelan – SourceDogg
Ena Prosser – Fountain Healthcare Partners
Malcolm Skingle – GlaxoSmithKline

Announcement – IUA Restructuring of Executive Management Structure.

Following a review of the executive management structure of the IUA, the Directors have taken a decision to restructure the organisation to ensure its alignment with the needs of our member Universities and to ensure its long-term organisational sustainability.

On foot of that review, the Research Office within IUA is being restructured. The immediate outcome is that the role of Director of Research has been made redundant and as a consequence Dr Conor O’Carroll will be leaving the Irish Universities Association at the end of April, having served almost thirteen years in the organisation.  He will, however, continue in the position of Chair of the EU Steering Group on Human Resources and Mobility (SGHRM) until the end of his term on that committee. Lead responsibility for research matters within IUA has been reassigned to the Chief Executive, Ned Costello.

As Director of Research since 2001 Conor has made a substantial contribution to the IUA, the University Sector in Ireland, and internationally has represented Ireland with distinction. His work on behalf of the university sector, both in Ireland and abroad, is held in high esteem, as is his contribution to the organisation’s standing and all at IUA wish to thank him for this contribution and wish him every success in his future endeavours.

Campus Engage New Website Launched

The Campus Engage network is delighted to launch a new national website for this initiative. This site will provide you with a repository for the latest information on case studies, tools and capacity building training. It will also support an online communications platform for knowledge exchange between higher education institutions and communities at home and abroad.

To access the site……. Click here

New NAIRTL Publication – Threshold Concepts: from personal practice to communities of practice

A more focused curriculum and improved learning through Threshold Concepts

12th Feb 2014

A new NAIRTL publication encourages teachers in Higher Education to focus on building students’ understanding of key concepts rather than teaching an ever expanding list of topics. This approach is more suited to creating high quality, engaged graduates.

Featuring international pedagogical experts in the area of Higher Education, Threshold Concepts: from personal practice to communities of practice, brings together key insights from a recent NAIRTL conference on the topic of Threshold Concepts.

A ‘threshold concept’ is a core concept that once understood, transforms the learner’s way of looking at, and acting in, the discipline. “It represents a transformed understanding, without which the learner cannot significantly progress”, explains Dr Bettie Higgs, NAIRTL Director. “A focus on threshold concepts can free-up an overcrowded curriculum”, Dr Higgs concludes.

The idea that there are Threshold Concepts has been debated for less than a decade, but the idea has become increasingly significant to a great number of educators in Higher Education. Many courses are now being restructured to ensure that students are enabled to grasp the threshold concepts in their discipline.

Ranging from descriptions of innovative pedagogic approaches to helping students grasp threshold concepts, this publication includes discussions on how the idea of Threshold Concepts can be used to advance student learning”, explains Dr Catherine O’Mahony, NAIRTL Manager. “This is relevant not only within, but between disciplines, and also addresses the potential use of this idea in professional development programmes”, she adds.

An online version of the publication is available to download from the NAIRTL website, and videos of the keynote presentations from the NAIRTL Threshold Concepts conference can also be accessed at

Discussions concerning Threshold Concepts will continue this summer at the upcoming 5th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference in Durham, England. For full details go to

The National Academy for the integration of Research, Teaching and Learning works with Irish higher education institutions to develop and implement policy and practices aimed at enhancing the student learning experience at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The Academy supports students, researchers and academic staff to implement and advance effective research-informed teaching and learning practices for diverse audiences.

For further information contact

Dr Catherine O’Mahony

NAIRTL Manager

NAIRTL, Distillery House, North Mall, Cork

[W]: +353 21 4904682

[M]: +353 87 9921183


Sean Flynn 1958-2014

On behalf of the staff of the IUA I wish to express our regret at the untimely loss of Sean Flynn,  Irish Times Education Editor.

A graduate of UCD, he took up the post of education correspondent in 1999 and was at all times an informed and influential commentator and critic of higher education in Ireland.

We had a very good working relationship with Sean over the years and, personally, I learned much about the journalists’ art from his combination of wit, tremendous incisiveness and mastery of the complex dynamics of higher education.

Our deepest sympathies go to his family and to his colleagues at the Irish Times and in the wider press community.

Ned Costello
Chief Executive