Ireland has taken significant steps over the past fifteen years in order to become a more knowledge and innovation-intensive economy. However, according to the European Commission’s 2015 Innovation Union Scoreboard, Ireland’s remains an innovation follower.
The Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation is currently drafting a revised national strategy for science, technology and innovation. Ibec is calling on the Government to think big and be brave with strategic investments, while at the same time introducing new policy measures that support innovation.
Ibec recommendations for a new national strategy on science, technology and innovation:
- Increase investment on science, technology and innovation to 2.5% of GDP by 2020.
- Develop a lasting strategy that sets out an ambitious long-term vision for science, technology and innovation policy. The strategy should be the comprehensive, overarching framework from which all complementary policy and initiatives to support RDI activity in Ireland should be linked in order to foster a strong innovation system and develop the knowledge-based economy and society.
- Establish an independent advisory committee on a permanent basis to review, evaluate and inform the strategy as it evolves. This committee should comprise key representatives of the main stakeholders involved in its delivery, i.e. key government departments implementing RDI policy, higher education institutes (HEIs), research performing organisations (RPOs), business representative organisations and specific state agencies.
- Invest in people: The next strategy for science, innovation and technology must further emphasise the connection between research and skill development at all levels. A strong research base, rooted in excellent science, gives educators the authority, assurance and confidence to educate and train the next generation of business leaders, scientists, technologists and engineers.
- Review the overall efficiency of conducting research in Ireland, including the level of administration and cost of developing and undertaking research programmes.
- Develop a balanced portfolio of basic and closer-to-market /applied research, across all disciplines including science, social, humanities and engineering. This approach is a feature of some of the most dynamic and productive innovation systems internationally.
- Provide business supports: To build the innovative capacity of SMEs and less R&D active businesses, including their ability to increase knowledge and competence in bringing innovation closer to the market place, specific SME incentives and supports will need to be incorporated to the strategy.
Thursday, 1 October 2015