€8.5 million is being provided to ensure that ideas, research and technology generated in Irish Universities and Colleges are used to keep Irish companies at the cutting edge of the knowledge economy, according to the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
The funding, announced at University College Cork as part of the IUA Council meeting, will allow for the appointment of high calibre specialists to oversee strong links between universities and the commercial sector.
There will be immediate appointments at UCC, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, The Royal College of Surgeons and UCD. Other appointments will follow.
The funding is being made available under the €30 million Technology Transfer Initiative which is being overseen by Enterprise Ireland.
Speaking at the launch in Cork, Minister Martin said “The appointment of these new technology transfer professionals will spearhead the drive to commercialise the ideas and technologies produced in Irish Research Institutions. If are to remain a world leader in the high tech sector then strong links between our researchers and our entrepreneurs is vital.” “I look forward to seeing a marked increase in patents, licences and start up companies as a result of this latest investment in the knowledge economy. This scheme follows the recent introduction of innovation vouchers which can be used by firms to access research resources in our colleges and universities.”
The initiative was also welcomed by Dr John Hegarty, Provost of TCD and President of the Irish Universities Association. Speaking at the launch Dr Hegarty said that “intellectual property is a murky area and technology transfer is a complex, labour-intensive process but the investment in a new cavalry of professionals will help guide us forward and make a huge difference in utilising our research”.