Enterprise Ireland: TTSI scheme created jobs and boosted collaboration

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The TTSI scheme has provided a way for Irish researchers and companies to link up and create economic growth.

Enterprise Ireland today (7 December) published a review of the Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative (TTSI) and its impact from 2013 to 2016.

Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) helps businesses benefit from access to Irish technology and expertise by simplifying how firms connect and engage with researchers in the country, and it was tasked with implementing the scheme.

The report is based on independent evaluation of the second phase of the Enterprise Ireland TTSI programme (TTSI2).

The €22.6m funding programme was directed to eight consortia of 26 research-performing organisations (RPOs), including universities, institutes of technology and state research organisations.

Better communication between researchers and businesses

The aim of TTSI2 was to develop a broader capability so that the research bodies would respond quickly and consistently to the needs of Irish industry by funding technology transfer offices in the RPOs, boosting a collaborative ethos between companies and research bodies alike.

The evaluation of TTSI2 found that the programme led to the estimated contribution of €14m economic value added and, by the end of the programme, RPOs were executing 185 new licences yearly and creating 30 new spin-out companies.

Hundreds of jobs created

Information from a sample set of Irish companies that had engaged with the research base during the TTSI2 programme showed that by 2017, these companies collectively employed 5,145 full-time staff, 451 of whom would not have been in employment had it not been for access to technology, intellectual property and expertise from the Irish research base through the Technology Transfer offices.

Enterprise Ireland has approved the third phase of TTSI, which commenced this year. The €34.5m investment will be made over five years to help sustain capacity within the Technology Transfer offices to ensure this collaborative commercialisation initiative remains effective, and continue to maintain open lines of communication between businesses and researchers.

Gearóid Mooney, Enterprise Ireland divisional manager for research and innovation, said: “Job creation and a strengthened economy as a result of research and innovation is a significant pillar of our remit at Enterprise Ireland, and it is the foundation of Knowledge Transfer Ireland.

“KTI set out to build a connection between research bodies and businesses and to create a process by which that connection results in business advantage. I am delighted to see this report indicate the scale to which this has been achieved by KTI.”

Alison Campbell, director of KTI, said: “I am very pleased to see the tangible results of TTSI2. We set out to bolster the benefits to business in terms of the commercialisation of research and knowledge transfer, and we now know through this report that the programme has delivered significant value.

“Knowledge transfer and technology transfer has advanced in Ireland, and the TTSI2 funding has been pivotal in this.”

Ellen Tannam is a writer covering all manner of business and tech subjects

editorial@siliconrepublic.com