If we look at key areas like ocean energy and renewable energy, Ireland has a lot of the components that put it at a strong advantage, but the country needs to connect all these components together if it is to truly be an international test-bed for innovation. That’s according to Prof Chris Bean, director of the UCD Earth Institute.
We need to agree on what we mean by innovation, says Bean.
“We are in danger sometimes of thinking of it as the idea rather than the delivery. It is actually a chain of events that begins with the idea and goes all the way through to a usable product, if you like,” he says. “We certainly have the potential, but we still have to work on the capacity.
“I think collaboration is a way forward for Ireland,” he says. “Instead of Ireland trying to take the whole piece, I think we need to decide what we’re good at, we need to focus in on what we’re good at. We need to take a chunk, and lead in that chunk. But the idea that we’ll start from the initial idea all the way through that chain to delivery is a big ask for a small nation. I think we should not be afraid to collaborate. Other groups want to work here, and we should take advantage of that.”
To hear more about the Earth Institute, and Bean’s thoughts on innovation, watch the full interview here:
Prof Chris Bean is a panelist at Silicon Republic’s Innovation Ireland Forum, which takes place on Friday, 11 October, in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin.