THE Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock T.D., together with the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton T.D., has announced new structures to make it easier to commercialise and ultimately create jobs from ideas developed through publicly-funded research, which currently receives total funding of over €800million per year.
The announcement represents the delivery of a key commitment in the Programme for Government and the Action Plan for Jobs 2012.
The new structures, which aim to encourage more businesses to commercialise R&D by ensuring that they can access the results of State-funded R&D with greater ease and certainty, include:
· A new Central Technology Transfer Office, to act as a one-stop shop for businesses seeking to use intellectual property deriving from publicly-funded research
· Standardised intellectual property terms, which will facilitate easy-to-set-up agreements between businesses and researchers
· Generous commercial terms to encourage businesses to engage with researchers, and to use the results of research to develop new products and services
· Improved management of Intellectual Property
Over the past ten years, Ireland has built up a substantial infrastructure, expertise and international reputation for scientific research and innovation. In 2003 Ireland was ranked 36th in the world for quality of scientific research output; in 2010 we were 20th. In 2000 our total spend on publicly-funded R&D was €290million; in 2010 it was €872 million.
The new Government committed in the Programme for Government and the Action Plan for Jobs to improve commercial outcomes from this activity, and actions taken over the past year to deliver on this include:
· the approval of legislation to extend the remit of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to include applied research, and
· the implementation of Research Prioritisation to ensure that publicly-funded research is aimed at areas with the greatest potential for commercialisation and job-creation.
Minister Sherlock said: “Using the standardised terms in the new Protocol will support both industry parties and research performing organisations in making their commercial negotiations faster, more consistent and more transparent. A Central Technology Transfer Office (cTTO) will be established to act as a ‘one stop shop’ for industry engagement with the research system to find all research opportunities and IP that has been generated across the entire publicly funded research system.
“The policies set out in the IP Protocol will also support the building of relationships with industry that will support a sustainable flow of commercialisation activities and build networks of long-term knowledge sharing”.
Minister Bruton said: “A key part of the Government’s plan for jobs and growth is ensuring that we create more products, services and ultimately jobs from Ireland’s top quality scientific research system. The quality of our R&D is already a major part of the reason for the success of our multinational and indigenous companies – but we must do more.
“Today’s announcement marks a major evolution of the relationship between industry and publicly-funded research. It will create a world-class new system that will make it easier and faster for entrepreneurs and companies to negotiate a commercial arrangement with researchers. It will provide a significant improvement to Ireland’s international offering and encourage more companies to locate here. It will encourage more multinationals and indigenous companies to use the IP generated by Irish R&D to create products and services and ultimately create more jobs.
“I would like to commend all involved, in particular Jim Mountjoy who chaired the IP Implementation Group, on all their work to date”.