New Govt science targets: 50pc more spin-outs and 1,100 new researcher jobs

23 Jul 2013

The Irish Government has outlined new targets and results from the State’s core €500m Science and Technology Budget that include a 50pc increase in the number of start-ups spinning out from public-backed research. In addition, a further 1,100 researchers will be added to the 10,600 currently employed.

Revealing the new metrics and targets, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Richard Bruton TD approved the publication of individual action plans on each of 14 areas of research that show the greatest opportunity in supporting jobs.

The new metrics increase the share of publicly performed R&D financed by enterprise to €180m over 2013 to 2017 – an average of €36m per annum, from a baseline of €31.2m in 2010.

The plan includes increasing the number of spin-out companies greater than three years old from 44 to 69 by 2017

The Government also proposes to increase the number of firms engaged in R&D projects of significant scale by 115 firms by 2017, from 1070 companies in 2011 to 1185 companies in 2017.

They also aim top increase by 10pc, the turnover due to new-to-firm or new-to-market product innovations from 9.3pc to 10.3pc by 2017.

Significantly, a further 1,100 researchers will be employed in the enterprise sector in addition to the circa 10,600 currently employed.

“A central plank of the Action Plan for Jobs is better using our research and innovation budget to drive job creation,” Minister Bruton said.

“Turning good ideas into good jobs is the key outcome that we need to see in the short term from our investment of scarce public funds in scientific research. These metrics and targets will help us to track that investment and the impact that it is having.  

“We must make difficult decisions in order to achieve the outcomes we need from the money we invest in research, and I am convinced that today’s announcement represents a major step in helping to deliver the jobs and growth we need,” Bruton said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years