The Government today published Innovation 2020, a five-year strategy for research and development, science and technology.
Ireland is listed amongst the top 20 countries in global rankings for the quality of scientific research. This new strategy is aimed at building on the significant successes delivered by the Government’s science strategy over the past decade, which has seen Ireland dramatically improve its performance globally in this area.
A key ambition of the strategy is to increase total investment in research and development (R&D) in Ireland, led by the private sector, to 2.5% of GNP.
This would mean that over €5bn would be invested per year in R&D by the private and public sectors by 2020 – a doubling of current levels of investment – to build on existing infrastructures.
A new programme of funding for frontier research will be introduced, providing resilience and responsiveness to meet new challenges or opportunities as they emerge.
Damien English TD, Minister for Research Innovation and Skills, said: “Developing the talent of our population is an underlying aim of Innovation 2020 and will be critical to the successful realisation of our national vision, of Ireland as an innovation leader. Our success in delivering on our vision will depend on our people – undertaking the research, working in and creating successful enterprises, and contributing to the society in which we live. We will support talent development from primary level through to postdoctoral research and from frontier research across all disciplines to practical application”
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD added: “Innovation 2020 is a key element in our plan to keep the recovery going by helping to create new jobs and new opportunities for research. It sets out a vision in which Ireland would become a global innovation leader, with research, development, science and technology all contributing to this goal. Our reputation for research excellence has been a major catalyst in our success in attracting and maintaining foreign direct investment, and this strategy demonstrates that we remain strongly committed to maintaining and improving standards in the excellence of our research.”
Professor Mark WJ Ferguson, chief scientific adviser to the Government of Ireland, also welcomed the launch. “Innovation 2020 builds on the considerable past successes and outlines some ambitious new plans such as challenge based funding. Science, innovation and technology are driving rapid global changes and the world is becoming more competitive. Ireland needs to continue to push forward: be the creators and owners of new ideas and innovations, up-skill our people, strengthen and future proof our economy and society. Implementation of Innovation 2020 will allow us to do that: excellence, talent and impact.”