It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get innovating

1 Apr 2010

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With the publication of the Innovation Taskforce’s report, the key now is ensuring Ireland is battle-fit to compete in the global knowledge economy, fielding Irish multinationals and much-needed jobs.

Intellectual property: At present multinationals account for 70pc of R&D activity in Ireland.

This balance could shift in favour of indigenous activity and the country could reach a target of 3pc of GDP spend on R&D if a greater flow of intellectual property is facilitated. Overzealous rules governing the ownership of IP at third level must be relaxed for innovation to flow into the economy.

Technology transfer: Universities and colleges are no longer to be seen solely as places of learning but potential wealth creation centres. They should be focal points for SMEs, start-ups and multinationals to gain and exchange knowledge, build products and provide graduates with hands-on experience.

Existing firms: Innovation is not just about Silicon Valley style firms. Traditional second and third-generation firms that have already proven their business acumen should be encouraged to research and develop new products and services with the same zeal as any start-up, existing tech firm or multinational.

Start-ups: Ireland should lend itself to rapid start-up activity from an indigenous perspective but also be seen as an attractive location for overseas start-ups to come to innovate and trade.

Read more of ‘It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get innovating’ at Digital 21.

By John Kennedy

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com