Minister for Jobs launches Knowledge Transfer Ireland

Minister for Jobs launches Knowledge Transfer Ireland, aimed at making it easier to commercialise ideas from State-funded research and turn good ideas into good jobs

Richard Bruton T.D. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation and Dr. Alison Campbell, Director of KTI.
Pictured above Richard Bruton T.D. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation and Dr. Alison Campbell, Director of KTI.

New service to create more jobs from €800million State-funded research

Resource is first of its kind in Europe

Richard Bruton, T.D., Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation today (Wednesday 28th May, 2014) launched Knowledge Transfer Ireland.

The purpose of the resource is to make it easier to commercialise – and ultimately create viable businesses and jobs from – State-funded research from all third-level institutes across the country.

Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) – the first resource of its kind in Europe – is the State-funded central technology transfer office, located in Enterprise Ireland and operated collaboratively by Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Universities Association.

Today’s announcement represents the delivery of a key commitment in the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 and is a significant step in making it easier to commercialise, and ultimately create jobs from, ideas developed through publicly funded research, which currently receives total funding of over €800 million per year. The key service offered is a web-portal that enables companies to identify experts, research centres and technology-licensing opportunities to benefit their business.

Making the announcement, Minister Bruton said: “Ireland has built up a substantial infrastructure, expertise and international reputation for scientific research and innovation over recent decades. Globally, we are currently ranked 10th out of 142 countries for innovation, while in Europe, we are ranked first out of 23 countries in terms of knowledge transfer performance of public research organisations. However, as I have said many times before, the challenge now is turn more of this spending into viable business ideas and ultimately jobs.

“As of today, Ireland is the first and only country in Europe to give companies the opportunity to search multiple databases of the research talent, knowledge and technologies available in our publicly-funded research institutions. This is a significant milestone in the Government’s strategy, laid out in our Action Plan for Jobs, to build stronger links between the State research sector and industry. It will lead to increased business innovation, cost-efficiencies and ultimately job creation in Ireland”.

The formation of one office with responsibility for centralising national technology and knowledge transfer activity was a key recommendation in the national IP Protocol 2012.

The establishment of KTI advances the Government’s plan to strengthen and standardise the Irish knowledge transfer infrastructure in which it has already invested €30 million through Enterprise Ireland, working in co-operation with the Technology Transfer Offices in Irish Higher Education Institutes. A further €22million, up to end 2016, has been committed by the Government to increase the capacity of the knowledge transfer infrastructure.

The key service for companies is the new KTI web-portal which offers, for the first time:

  • A comprehensive overview of the research capabilities of all Irish Universities, Institutes of Technologies and specialist research centres in one place.
  • Searchable databases of research expertise and talent.
  • Details of over 160 pre-commercial technologies developed research performing institutions which are available to license.
  • Access to all patents filed by Ireland’s publicly-funded research institutions

According to the recently appointed Director of KTI, Dr. Alison Campbell; “Knowledge Transfer Ireland is a bold new initiative which aims to make it easier for companies to leverage the commercial potential of Irish research and innovation through connecting them with cutting-edge expertise and opportunities and guiding them through the process of engaging with the research base”.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, welcomed the launch of the Knowledge Transfer Ireland office and its web-portal saying, “The commercialisation of research is a key priority of Enterprise Ireland and an activity that will be greatly enhanced by Knowledge Transfer Ireland. Having KTI located in Enterprise Ireland will enable us to greatly increase the flow of innovative knowledge and technology into companies in Ireland with the aim of increasing their turnover and employment”.

Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, said “this is a hugely welcome announcement and one which we have been working towards for some time. It is a part of our strategy to build better and stronger links between business and researchers, and will ultimately pay dividends in the form of jobs in Ireland. I commend all involved on this achievement and look forward to working on the project as it progresses”.

Irish Universities Association CEO, Ned Costello said, “the launch of KTI marks a further deepening of the relationship between higher education and enterprise and underscores the shared commitment to secure value from research”.

An Industry Advisory Board consisting of people from the business and investment community has been appointed to ensure the needs of industry are addressed.

For more information visit www.knowledgetransferireland.com

ENDS

Issued by: Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Press Office

For more information on this press release contact:

Grace Labanyi

Enterprise Ireland
Communications Officer

+353 1 7272746

+353 87 3286404

Grace Labanyi

Notes to the editor:

Ireland’s performance in knowledge transfer to date
Ireland is already scoring top of the class in Europe in terms of knowledge transfer - the European Commission Knowledge Transfer Study published in June 2013, ranked Ireland first (out of 23 countries) in terms of knowledge transfer performance of public research organisations in individual countries, and we have also been ranked third in the EU in the "Indicator of Innovation Output”, which measures the extent to which ideas from innovative sectors are able to reach the market, providing better jobs and making Europe more competitive. In addition, Ireland is ranked 10th in the WIPO Global innovation Index 2013.

In recent years the Government, through Enterprise Ireland invested €30million to resource and up-skill the existing technology transfer professional in Irish Higher Education Institutes. This Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative resulted in a sea-change in terms of the quality and quantity of intellectual property transferred from Irish academic institutions into industry, for example, there was a seven fold increase in the number of technologies licensed by academic institutions to industry from 12 per year in 2005 to 85 in 2012 and the number of spin-out companies created each year averaged at 22, an increase of 450%.

A review of the TTSI investment commissioned by Enterprise Ireland showed that a sample of 65 companies who engaged with technology transfer offices between 2007 and 2012 created or retained 1,844 jobs and the creation of a further 2,128 jobs is anticipated by 2017.


Members of Industry Advisory Board to Knowledge Transfer Ireland
To ensure the needs of industry in Ireland are addressed by Knowledge Transfer Ireland, Industry Advisory Board (IAB) which consists of people from the business and investment community has been appointed. The members of the IAB are:

Mike Devane – American Chamber of Commerce
Karl Flannery (Chair) – Storm Technology Ltd
Barry Kennedy – Intel/ICMR/i2e2
John O’Sullivan – ACT Venture Capital
Alan Phelan – SourceDogg
Ena Prosser – Fountain Healthcare Partners
Malcolm Skingle – GlaxoSmithKline