Making an innovation nation

1 Jul 2008

The Government has launched an innovation policy statement which provides a wider context for implementing the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2006-2013.

Called ‘Innovation in Ireland’, the policy statement outlines the programmes and initiatives in place to support firms and individuals to create new services and products and win new markets.

It draws all of these supports together, providing a guide to how the Government intends to foster innovation demand and an innovation culture in the economy and in society.

“Innovation cuts across all areas, from consumer-driven innovative products and services to developing new business models, new organisational structures and skills for innovation,” said Dr Jimmy Devins TD, Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, at the launch today.

The aim of creating such a policy document is to ensure innovation leads to Ireland’s competitive advantage and productivity being enhanced in the face of global competition.

Recently published findings revealed we compare well in terms of innovation activity in the European arena.

The Central Statistics Office/Forfás Community Innovation survey 2004-2006 found over 47pc of enterprises with 10 or more persons in Ireland indicated they were active innovators.

The estimated EU rate is 42pc. Almost 57pc of Irish industrial enterprises were classed as innovation active, well above the EU average of 41pc, while 41pc of service enterprises were innovation active, compared to an EU average rate of 36pc.

“Our ambition is to become a leader in innovation. This policy statement maps our progress across 10 key policy areas and also identifies opportunities where innovation can be better exploited,” said Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan TD.

“We want to exploit the great potential value of innovation in services to our economy, in our public procurement practices and in emerging models of business organisation and service delivery.”

By Sorcha Corcoran