Business News

Cross-border cooperation the focus of new report published by the OECD

By Business & Finance
16 April 2014
OECD report

A new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) highlights innovation-driven growth as a major objective of the post-crisis recovery and the opportunities that working with cross-border neighbours can offer.

The study, which comprises in-depth case studies for six European cross-border regions including Ireland-Northern Ireland, found that enhanced cross-border cooperation for innovation can lead to greater global openness, increased regional attractiveness and competitiveness.

The report identified key strengths and assets of cross-border innovation policy in Ireland and Northern Ireland, highlighting the role that InterTradeIreland plays through the development and use of cross-border intelligence and its cross-border innovation programmes. Although the report commends the broad base of joint actions in the cross-border innovation mix on the island, it also reveals some barriers and weaknesses such as the insufficient linkages of Ireland-based multinationals with SMEs on both sides of the border or the differences in university regulations and study programmes.

Recommendations from the study include adopting a more strategic use of innovation-related Interreg funds, including the involvement of InterTradeIreland. The  OECD also encourages a more strategic approach to cooperation to ensure that cross-border policies and projects are in line with the strategic objectives of both jurisdictions and stronger cross-border leadership and finances from private and non-profit stakeholders.

Commenting on the report, Aidan Gough, strategy and policy director at InterTradeIreland said:  “Over the last 15 years, we have worked closely with the relevant departments and institutions in both jurisdictions, to promote increased cross-border cooperation in the areas of trade and innovation.  The report acknowledges the importance of that work but also challenges us to keep finding better ways to promote cross-border innovation.

“Studies like this allow us to learn from international best practice and encourage us to assist in the further development and exploitation of linkages for innovation between Ireland and Northern Ireland, making both regions more globally competitive.”

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, who was also present at the launch of the study, said: “Innovation is at the heart of our plans for jobs and growth, and we have put in place a range of new measures in the past three years to turn more good ideas into good jobs. Today’s report shows that cross-border cooperation can enhance the innovation capacity – and ultimately economic growth – of both Ireland and Northern Ireland. We will continue to work hard in cooperation with our colleagues in Northern Ireland to the benefit of the economies and peoples of both jurisdictions.”