Minister Bruton launches Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) annual report

Thursday 11th June, 2015

Significant increase in number of companies using academic research to grow their business

Minister Bruton launches Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) annual report

Launching Knowledge Transfer Ireland’s annual report on Thursday 11th June 2015 were Dr. Alison Campbell, Director KTI, Tom Boland, CEO Higher Education Authority and Richard Bruton T.D. Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation. 2,337 knowledge transfer agreements were signed between companies and State-funded Research Performing Organisations in 2014 according to the Annual Knowledge Transfer Survey published as part of the KTI annual report.
Launching Knowledge Transfer Ireland’s annual report on Thursday 11th June 2015 were Dr. Alison Campbell, Director KTI, Tom Boland, CEO Higher Education Authority and Richard Bruton T.D. Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation. 2,337 knowledge transfer agreements were signed between companies and State-funded Research Performing Organisations in 2014 according to the Annual Knowledge Transfer Survey published as part of the KTI annual report.

There was a 46% increase in the number of companies in Ireland engaging with State-funded research performing organisations (RPOs) to access research to grow their business in 2014 according to figures published in the Knowledge Transfer Ireland Annual Report and Annual Knowledge Transfer Survey 2014 today (11th June 2015).

Launching the KTI annual report and knowledge transfer survey Richard Bruton T.D., Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, said; “I am very pleased to see a marked uptake in the number of companies engaging with the research base in Ireland. A key part of our jobs plan is supporting more companies to engage in research and innovation activities – ultimately turning good ideas into good jobs. KTI is playing an important part in this process by making it easier for companies to access the knowledge and expertise available within our research performing organisations so they can use it to drive competitive advantage and sustainable job creation”.

The increased levels of engagement led to 2,337 agreements between companies and State-funded RPOs.

The report also shows that 27 new spin-out companies were created based on intellectual property and knowledge from Irish RPOs. Over the same period the number of IP-based transactions between RPOs and industry, including licences, options and assignments, increased by 21% to 168. Amongst these were a licence from UCC to Alimentary Health which led to the creation of a new precision biotic product called Alflorex and a new cheese product was developed at Teagasc Moorepark in collaboration with Tipperary Co-Op and Ornua under the Kerrygold brand.

According to KTI Director Dr. Alison Campbell, “the increasing levels of engagement between industry and research organisations is most encouraging and reflects the efforts of the entire technology transfer system in Ireland which we must remember is still quite young. Since the State began investing in a technology transfer infrastructure in 2007 there has been a relentless focus on ensuring that companies are aware of the valuable resources and intellectual property emerging from Irish RPOs which can contribute to their growth plans. These results prove that the effort is paying off.”

Tom Boland CEO of the Higher Education Authority welcomed the KTI annual report and annual knowledge transfer survey results saying “Performance across the State-funded research base is encouraging. The HEA is pleased to be working with KTI to provide a single system-wide data collection for the annual knowledge transfer survey. Together, we look forward to building a longitudinal study of system performance over time.”

KTI was launched in May 2014 and is operated in partnership between Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Universities Association. Amongst its activities is the operation of a unique resource for industry, the KTI web portal. This web portal provides companies with easy access to the resources available to them from State-funded research – from expertise to technologies, from intellectual property to facilities and equipment.

KTI’s annual report incorporates results from its Annual Knowledge Transfer Survey (AKTS) which tracks business engagement and commercialisation activity between business and Ireland’s State-funded RPOs for 2014.

KTI launched its second annual report at the PraxisUnico Annual Conference, which is taking place in Croke Park from 10-12 June 2015. The conference is a continuation of KTI’s support and delivery of a series of events designed to share best practice amongst the broad community of technology transfer professionals in Ireland.

PraxisUnico is the UK’s leading organisation for university and public sector research commercialisation professionals. The PraxisUnico annual conference, now in its 13th year, is the highlight of the year for professionals engaged in knowledge transfer and research commercialisation, and those associated including funders, policy makers and industry. This is the first time that the conference is taking place outside the United Kingdom.

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For more information on this press release contact:

Grace Labanyi
Enterprise Ireland
Communications Officer

Grace Labanyi
+353 1 7272746 
+353 87 3286404


About Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI)

KTI is the State-funded central knowledge transfer office operated by Enterprise Ireland in partnership with the Irish Universities Association. KTI’s role is to actively support the commercialisation of State-funded research. Its mission is to support business, the public sector and the research base to maximise State-funded research by exchanging knowledge and transferring technology, ideas and expertise into the hands of business and the public sector swiftly and easily for the benefit of the economy and society.

KTI also works with the technology transfer/industry liaison offices to build and strengthen the knowledge transfer system at Ireland’s research performing organisations through the State-funded programme Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative 2 (TTSI2, 2013-2016).