Research & Innovation

Irish universities are dedicated to increasing the scale, scope and impact of investment in higher education research and innovation.

A key objective is to work with funding agencies and Government Departments to significantly expand research capacity and provide a balanced research ecosystem in which investigator-led research is prioritised alongside industry focused research.

Ireland’s advanced research programme, centred to a large extent in universities, has made great strides in recent years. Sustained public investment in research, even in years of recession, has contributed to economic recovery with a network of top-class research facilities now in place.

But, we still lag behind many of our key competitors. Latest figures show Irish R&D investment, both public and private, at 1.4% of GNP (1.2% of GDP) against an OECD average of 2.4% of GDP with top performers like Denmark investing 2.9% of GDP. Sustained investment in research spending is required if Ireland aims to compete with the best in Europe and globally in the next decade.

The Irish universities strive to clearly demonstrate to Irish citizens the value of government investment in higher education research and by working in partnership with key stakeholders, how that investment can be optimally distributed across funding streams to maximise the return to society and the economy.

The IUA Research Office works with the Vice Presidents/Deans of Research, Directors of Research, Research Officers and Directors of Technology Transfer in the Irish universities to pursue and implement common policies and actions, including:

  • Policy development for supporting research
  • Specific Operations to support access to funding
  • Supporting Researchers Careers

Our Charter Commitment to Research & Innovation


  •  Significantly expanding research capacity and providing a balanced research programme so that basic, foundational research is prioritised alongside applied research.
  • Increasing the output of PhD graduates by at least 30% over the next 10 years.
  • Expanding engagement between universities and industry in relation to knowledge transfer and innovation.

IUA’s Director of Research and Innovation is Dr Lisa Keating.