Ireland playing its part in meeting EU targets for High Value Jobs – Minister Sherlock

Media Release

Irish Presidency Conference on Researcher Careers and Mobility
Dublin Castle, Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Ireland is playing an important part in helping the EU meet it targets for the creation of high-value jobs according to Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD. The Minister was speaking at a conference, hosted by the Irish Presidency of the EU, on Researcher Careers and Mobility to focus on measures to ensure the free movement of researchers and knowledge across Europe.

The conference is bringing researchers and policy makers from Europe and beyond together to discuss a number of crucial issues including: fast track immigration; open and transparent hiring policies; and upskilling researchers to increase their access to leading positions across all sectors of the economy and society.

This conference will work on practical solutions to realise Europe’s ambitions to create a “European Research Area” for the free movement of researchers and knowledge. The goal is to make Europe a more welcoming place for researchers – retaining our own and also drawing from the global talent pool. This is a cornerstone of the European Research Area policy which Ireland has adopted and implemented through the concerted efforts of government, higher education and industry.

Minister Sherlock stressed the importance of finding practical solutions to fulfilling ambitions for the European Research Area when he said: “We must foster research excellence to maintain our leading international position. We must provide pathways to enable researchers to find employment in industry where their talents can lead innovation and the development of new products and services”.

Across Europe, over 5 million jobs have been lost between 2008 and 2010. In contrast, knowledge-based jobs driven by research and innovation increased by more than 800,000. “Talent is essential to success in the race for global leadership in innovation”, the Minister said.

Speaking at the conference, the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn stated that, “the European Research Area will help ensure a sufficient supply of highly qualified workers by offering researchers more attractive and rewarding careers, and by removing any obstacles to mobility across sectors and countries. Think of it as a “European Single Market” for research, knowledge and ideas”. 

Welcoming the conference delegates, Prof Brian MacCraith, President Dublin City University said: “the Irish universities are convinced that open recruitment, high quality doctoral training and researcher career development are all extremely important in driving excellence and maintaining Ireland’s global reputation as an innovation hub”.

 In a lively programme of interactive sessions, delegates will be invited to discuss topics such as how to support researchers in making the transition to from college lab to industry, and preparing PhD students for a wide range of employment opportunities. There will be a focus on connecting a nation to its research diaspora, drawing on the progress made by Ireland through the Wild Geese Network of Irish Scientists.


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

Phone: 085 7141414 email: