Research Policies & Priorities

A key priority for the Irish universities is to ensure that Ireland’s research & innovation ecosystem is appropriately resourced and efficiently operated to yield the maximum return possible for the people of Ireland.

The Indecon Impact Report estimates that the universities deliver a total impact of €1.5 billion per annum arising from research activities. Investing in the development and expansion of the research system is fundamental to the ambition of Ireland to be a lead player in the smart economy.

The IUA, on behalf of its seven-member university, works with Government Departments and funding agencies to ensure that the value of Irish HE research is captured and articulated clearly to the wide range of beneficiaries, in terms of Ireland achieving its national ambitions including:

  • Becoming a Global Innovation Leader
  • Making the Irish education system the ″Best in Europe″ by 2026
  • Developing the talent pipelines for Future Jobs Ireland
  • Bringing Ireland’s research and development intensity to 2.5% of GNP to build on our significant achievements to date

Enhancing the impact of research and innovation for enterprise, and for society as a whole

In demonstrating the value of higher education research to Ireland, the IUA works with key stakeholders to build the case for sustained and increased investment in the sector. Our priorities are:

1. To secure long-term, sustainable investment in a balanced research programme that prioritises investigator-led, frontier research alongside applied research and priority areas.

This will enable our top researchers to compete effectively at an international level, positioning Ireland as a global innovator.

It will also give Irish-based industry access to the technologies of tomorrow and support Future Jobs Ireland’s ambition of developing and attracting talent.

2. To build the case for sector-wide infrastructure to support the development of Open Research and initiate a broad-based equipment renewal programme.

A sustained programme of State investment, mapped out over a 7-year period, is required to ensure our cutting edge research is conducting in modern facilities of a similar standard to our competitors.

If Ireland is to position itself as an innovation hub, there is an urgent need to invest in the upgrade of core research infrastructure in the Irish universities that form the nucleus of the country’s R&D network.

3. To work with stakeholders to develop appropriate measures to address inadequacies in the funding of indirect costs of research.

Underfunding in this area negatively impacts not only on research and innovation but also on teaching and learning and the student experience as funds from other critical areas are depleted to cover the full economic cost of research.