Insight research centre worth more than €1bn to Irish economy, report claims

20 Jun 2023

Image: Alan Rowlette

Science Foundation Ireland’s Insight Research Centre for Data Analytics released a report on its impact on the occasion of its tenth year in operation.

In the ten years since it was first established, the Insight Research Centre for Data Analytics has produced 1,087 research alumni. That figure is taken from a recently published report which details Insight’s economic impact on Ireland over the past decade.

The publicly-funded centre, run by Science Foundation Ireland, is estimated to be worth €1.1bn to the country’s economy. Insight is hosted by four institutions and counts four more as partners. It works with hosts Dublin City University, University of Galway, University College Dublin and University College Cork, as well as partners Maynooth University, Tyndall National Institute, Trinity College Dublin and University of Limerick.

It currently supports more than 400 researchers working in areas such as trustworthy AI, multimodal data analysis and data engineering and governance. It has partnered with industry players such as Cadence, Genesys, Fidelity and Medtronic to advance research in AI and analytics.

Altogether, according to the report, Insight has signed 219 collaborative research agreements involving 146 companies. Half of these companies are located in Ireland, although Insight is one of the biggest analytics research centres in Europe.

There has been a total of 14 spinout companies emerging from Insight. Together these companies employ more than 170 people and have attracted €413m in investment.

The centre’s annual funding has tripled from just under €8m in 2013 to €24.2m in 2022. Prof Noel O’Connor, CEO of Insight, said the figures highlighted by the report show that Insight “has proven a resounding success for Irish research, the economy and, most importantly, the taxpayer.”

“This is thanks to the collaborative ethos and the collective vision of our excellent scientists; ably supported by a shared national research management infrastructure. It demonstrates that a small nation like ours can punch above our weight by committing to the maxim that we are better together,” he added.

The report was authored by Prof Declan Curran of Dublin City University and Prof Chris Van Egeraat of Maynooth University.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.