Business News

Trinity launches new ‘gateway’ to give enterprise access to research talent

By Business & Finance
28 March 2014

A new gateway launched today by Trinity College Dublin (TCD), in conjunction with business organisation Ibec, will help companies to scale and create jobs by making it easier to partner with the university on research activity.

The new Office of Corporate Partnership and Knowledge Exchange will link enterprise and academia without barriers. It is part of Trinity’s recently launched Strategy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship which is embedding innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the university.

‘The office is a new ‘front door’ that will proactively connect industry and academics,’ said Trinity’s Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast. ‘Trinity wants to scale our engagement with small businesses and with multinational corporations, especially in Dublin city centre where many are clustering. We will reach out to the enterprise community to help them build on their existing research activity and create more value-added products and services. This, in turn, will help fuel the innovation economy for Ireland,’ he said.

The Office for Corporate Partnership and Knowledge Exchange is part of Trinity Research and Innovation. Trinity’s offices of research, contract, technology transfer, and industry engagement, as well as entrepreneurship supports, will all sit in one unit. That will enable a more streamlined approach to enterprise engagement.

The new office will be responsible for managing all aspects of interactions with industry. It will support industry in getting involved in Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. It will help businesses to access cutting-edge infrastructure and researchers, supporting all research projects from first steps to large-scale collaborations. That will develop business innovation, linked to more exports and jobs.

“Our new approach is based on ‘open innovation’,” said the director of Trinity Research and Innovation, Dr Diarmuid O’Brien. “We want to work with companies, large and small, to improve their competitiveness. Companies that are research-active are creating jobs and exports. Trinity is Ireland’s leading research institution, and we want to partner with companies to enable them to scale,” said Dr O’Brien.

Trinity’s Dean of Research, Professor Vinny Cahill, said the approach is part of the Strategy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – a new integrated approach to innovation and entrepreneurship education for the whole university.

‘We see Dublin as the hub of a regional economic cluster marked by innovative companies, with Trinity acting as the city centre ‘connector’ for enterprise and academia. At the heart of our strategy is a drive to reach out and help enterprise to scale in a mutually enabling partnership for society and the economy,” said Professor Cahill.

The Office of Corporate Partnership and Knowledge Exchange will be supported by business leaders serving on a knowledge transfer and innovation committee. This committee will reinforce the office’s enterprise-facing mission, and advocate for Trinity in the enterprise community. Among the business leaders on the committee are Steve Collins, founder of Havoc and Swrve, and Eoin O’Sullivan, director of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy at the University of Cambridge.

Danny McCoy, Ibec CEO, welcomed Trinity’s approach to enterprise outreach. “Ireland needs a business environment that promotes innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship. Trinity’s new office will make it easier for companies to partner with a world-leading university to scale globally. Enhancing links between business and higher education is key to Ireland’s economic recovery. Research and development helps increase our exports, and attract new investment,” said McCoy.