Speaking at yesterday’s TIF conference on Broadband and Beyond, Sean Dorgan, the chief executive of IDA Ireland said that Ireland’s next step forward was becoming an intellectual property (IP) hub and managing IP as an asset.
This view is echoed by Professor Mark Keane, the new vice president of innovation at University College Dublin’s Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre, NovaUCD.
The government has invested considerably in research in the last few years and Keane says that NovaUCD would like to see this turned into IP.
“UCD itself is interesting in that it was the first university to fund a full-time technology transfer staff member.
“One of the problems until recently has been that the funding around the people involved in technology transfer has probably not been sufficient to deal with the amount of IP that was coming out.”
As of this year, Keane notes that Enterprise Ireland has funded all of the technology transfer office in universities countrywide to expand much further.
This, he says, will strengthen NovaUCD and all the other university offices to a point where they can deal with the amount of IP which should be emerging from the Science Foundation Ireland investment over the last few years.
“If you look at the international scene, somewhere like Stanford, you can start doing this but it takes a long time: you start seeing some of the benefits five to 10 years down the line. It is a very long term play in a sense.”
“At this point we should be beginning to see the real fruits of this earlier investment. We should be seeing more invention disclosure which is basically people saying ‘these are ideas we have had’.”
On the back of this we should begin to see more patenting, says Keane, followed by more licensing and campus spinouts around that intellectual property.
By Marie Boran