The public can now have a say on the future of research in Ireland

1 Jun 2021

Minister Simon Harris at Inspirefest 2018. Image: Conor McCabe

The results of this national campaign will be used to inform Ireland’s next strategy for research, innovation, science and technology.

The Irish public are being asked for their opinions on science and research, and how these can be used to shape the country in the future.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, today (1 June) announced plans for a national conversation on research and science.

‘By inviting the public to be central to these conversations, we can ensure the direction of research in Ireland is informed by the people it serves’
– SIMON HARRIS, TD

The campaign, called Creating Our Future, will run from July to November.

Events will be held across the country during this time, where citizens will be invited to share their thoughts on current research, the future directions of that research, and other research opportunities that could be explored.

“We believe now is the right time to have a conversation about science and research with the people of Ireland and ask you to give us your verdict on the problems and opportunities you think are most important to our society and economy,” Harris said.

“By inviting the public to be central to these conversations, we can ensure the direction of research in Ireland is informed by the people it serves. The starting point for all great research and innovation is simple – a wonderful idea. We hope you will speak to us about ideas that will inspire researchers to use all their skills and knowledge to help shape a better society.”

All submissions from the public will be considered by expert panels. The results of their findings will be published in a report by the end of 2021, which will inform Ireland’s next strategy for research, innovation, science and technology.

The campaign is being overseen by an advisory forum, which is meeting for the first time today.

The forum is chaired by Julie Byrne, who is global head of external collaboration programmes at Nokia Bell Labs. She has nearly 30 years’ experience in engineering, tech and research, and in her current role brings together researchers to collaborate on innovations.

Byrne said the new Government initiative will provide a “unique opportunity” to get ideas from people around Ireland about the challenges they want research to tackle.

“I encourage everyone to consider how they can get involved to ensure that we reach all corners of our society, so that every voice is heard as part of this national conversation,” she added.

Sarah Harford is sub-editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com