Research & Innovation

New government science strategy aims to double R&D funding

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New government science strategy aims to double R&D funding

New government science strategy aims to double R&D funding
December 08
10:29 2015

The Minister for Research, Innovation and Skills Damien English TD, together with the Taoiseach and the Minister for Jobs, today (Tuesday) published Innovation 2020, a new five-year science strategy which aims to double total spending on research and development in Ireland by 2020.

The strategy is aimed at building on the significant successes delivered by the Government’s science strategy which ran from 2006 until 2013, and which has seen Ireland dramatically improve its performance globally in this area. The next phase of the strategy is aimed at building on existing infrastructures and achieving ambitious private-public collaborations.

A key ambition of the Strategy is to increase total investment in R&D in Ireland, led by the private sector, to 2.5% of GNP. On current official projections, this would mean that over €5billion will be invested per year in R&D by the private and public sectors by 2020. This will represent almost doubling current levels of investment (€2.9billion in 2014).

On the issue of talent, the strategy targets a 30% increase in the number of new enrolments in research-based Masters and PhDs each year from 1,750 to 2,250. The number of funded post-doctoral places will also increase by 30%, and the  number of research personnel in enterprise would also be increased by 60% to 40,000.

Let’s quote as well the aim of the government to double private  investment  of  R&D performed in the public research system, or its commitment to increase the number of research centres around the country to address the needs of business.

Over the past two years, the Government and State agencies have been engaged in a consultative process with business, academia and others involved in research and innovation to draft a new plan.

All government departments have been asked to contribute to the strategy, which has the backing of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

Welcoming the launch of the strategy, Professor Mark WJ Ferguson, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland commented :

“I welcome the new strategy Innovation 2020 which  highlights the importance of scientific research and innovation to all aspects of Ireland’s future and which confirms the Government’s commitment to increase both public and private investment in this area.  Innovation 2020 builds on the considerable past successes and outlines some ambitious new plans such as challenge based funding.”

Then he added :

“Science, innovation and technology are driving rapid global changes and the world is becoming more competitive. Ireland needs to continue to push forward : be the creators and owners of new ideas and innovations, upskill our people, strengthen and future proof our economy and society.”

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