Business News

60 seconds with: Dr Matt Kennedy

By Business & Finance
10 April 2017
Matt Kennedy

Head of Strategy and Business at the International Energy Research Centre (IERC), Dr Matt Kennedy, takes the Business & Finance 60-second challenge.

Q. What was your first job?

At school I did everything from newspaper deliveries to sweeping classrooms.

After university I worked for the Department of Finance in Mount Street on developing economic indicators for regional development projects.

Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

Negotiating energy technology on behalf of the European Union at COP21 in Paris and making my personal contribution to the global climate change agreement.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Surround yourself with smart people, listen to evidence and go with instinct.

Q. If you could step into the shoes of one businessperson for the day, who would it be and why?

Patrick Collison – Stripe is so vibrant and innovative, a business delivering for business.

Q. In three words or less, how do you define success?

Making ideas happen.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

With vision – vision drives leadership and leadership drives culture, in turn the culture drives the staff performance.

Q. How do you relax?

I keep active. I solve problems during long runs. I listen to my kids’ daily experiences.

Q. What’s your motto?

See something, do something.

Q. What are your aspirations for the future of your business?      

Ireland doesn’t have a culture of business collaboration. As the IERC grows, more businesses will collectively create energy products, services and solutions that will drive Ireland’s competitiveness through business resilience.

Our future is about working together to create energy innovations that can be accessed and used by all, from improving comfort levels in homes to using technologies to empower communities, expanding our access to knowledge and delivering smart solutions that are affordable to all.

Surround yourself with smart people, listen to evidence and go with instinct


Dr Matt Kennedy is responsible for Strategy and Business within the International Energy Research Centre. Prior to this role, Kennedy led national and international energy RD&D initiatives for the Irish Government as National Delegate for Horizon 2020 in Ireland and as R&D lead in SEAI.

He chaired a collaborative group of 10 OECD countries that pooled finance for research collaborative activities.

Internationally, he has lead the technology negotiations for the UN at COP21, is the chair of the UN’s Climate Technology Centre and Network in Copenhagen, and the chair of the Programme Board of the Renewable Every and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) based in Vienna.

Kennedy also has a Phd (Engineering) from TCD and Masters’ degrees from UCD (Business Admin) and NUIG (Development).