Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D., welcomed the good start in implementing actions in Innovation 2020 with the first Progress Report published.
Innovation 2020, Ireland’s strategy for research and development, science and technology was launched by An Taoiseach in December 2015 and contains more than 90 actions for delivery across Government over the lifetime of the strategy. The Progress Report sets out progress for the first six months with over 50 actions initiated and/or completed to date.
Welcoming the report, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “After much significant work undertaken by research-funding Government departments and Agencies, this first Progress Report marks an important milestone in implementing Innovation 2020. This Report sets out the good start which has been made to date. Last week’s announcement showing that Ireland has moved up two places from 8th to 6th in the overall ranking in the 2016 European Innovation Scoreboard further demonstrates how we are building on the significant successes delivered over the past decade.”
Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan, T.D., said “Innovation 2020 is a key element in our plan to create new jobs and new opportunities for research. It sets out a vision in which Ireland would become a Global Innovation Leader, with research, development, science and technology all contributing to this goal. Over the lifetime of Innovation 2020 we will continue to drive this important agenda - keeping innovation centre stage for the benefit of society and in our economic strategy to continue growing opportunities for job creation.”
A cross departmental Implementation Group, chaired by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, to drive implementation of the strategy agreed a Work Programme for 2016 containing 53 actions to be initiated this year. Three of the 53 actions identified for initiation in 2016 are complete:
- Establishment of a cross Government Implementation Group to drive delivery of actions
- Publication of a revised IP Protocol.
- Establishment of the National Health Innovation Hub.
50 actions have been initiated and good progress has been made including:
Science Foundation Ireland launched their Research Centres and Research Centres’ Spokes calls for proposals.
Enterprise Ireland is working on a process to identify further potential Small Business Innovation Research projects.
Work has commenced on scoping out the parameters of the successor to Cycle V of the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI). PRTLI provides significant investment to the sector and has specifically focused on building the research infrastructure and research capability in our higher education institutions. To optimise infrastructure access, the Higher Education Authority is engaging a service provider to upgrade the Large Items of Research Equipment database to a managed online system to which institutions will have access.
Horizon 2020 data to May 2016 shows drawdown of €275m, representing 1.72% of the available budget, and indicates that we are on track to meet our target of drawing down €1.25bn (representing 1.67% of the available budget) by 2020.
Studies have been initiated to provide the evidence base for the next cycle of Research Prioritisation.
A review is underway of innovation supports available to businesses to encourage more businesses, particularly SMEs, to become R&D active.
The Irish Research Council, in partnership with Dochas, announced awards for projects in partnership with international development civic society groups.
The Health Research Board has completed a survey and is developing recommendations on enablers and barriers to public and patient involvement in health research.
The development of a Centre for Consumer Insight to provide consumer insight to inform future investment in R&D by Irish agri-food research bodies has been progressed and a fit out of premises is expected to be completed shortly.
The Environmental Protection Agency offered funding of over €8million to a total of 43 projects across a broad spectrum including climate, water, sustainability and green enterprise in 2015 and a further research call to the value of €6m issued in May 2016.