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A foundation for research Gary Crawley Head, Frontiers Eng & Science Directorate Science Foundation Ireland March 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "A foundation for research Gary Crawley Head, Frontiers Eng & Science Directorate Science Foundation Ireland March 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 a foundation for research Gary Crawley Head, Frontiers Eng & Science Directorate Science Foundation Ireland March 2006

2 a foundation for research Reforming Higher Education for Innovation Higher Education plus R&D is a recipe for a knowledge based and innovation driven economy! For example, OECD 2005 Scoreboard: “Expenditure on research and development (R&D), higher education and software can be considered as investment in knowledge. Such investment is crucial for economic growth…”

3 a foundation for research Reforming Higher Education for Innovation Strong, clear link between research and postgrad. ed. The Ph.D. degree is a Research degree. But is investment in higher education and research sufficient? OR Do we need to examine the process to produce better links to innovation and enterprise? Such investment is a necessary but not sufficient condition. THIS IS THE QUESTION FOR TODAY’S SESSION?

4 a foundation for research Outline Linking Research to Innovation: The Irish Experience Improvement of the quality of higher education Focus on postgraduate education

5 a foundation for research OECD Economic Outlook (% change from previous year)

6 a foundation for research Irish Government Strategy: Move Ireland up value chain: research- and innovation-driven economy Attract, Grow R&D activities within Ireland Broaden the activities of Multi National Corporations in Ireland (Investment Development Agency, IDA) Be supportive of indigenous Small and Medium Enterprises, including start-ups (Enterprise Ireland, EI) Science Foundation Ireland is a key component in this strategy build research excellence and human capital foster academic-industry collaboration

7 a foundation for research A Brief History of SFI Technology Foresight Study Report – April 1999 Focus on ICT and Biotechnology SFI launched – July 2000 €646 million from Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) Director General, Bill Harris, appointed Sept 2001 SFI becomes statutory body, July 2003 Current annual budget is around €130 million

8 a foundation for research About Science Foundation Ireland SFI invests in academic researchers & teams who are most likely to generate new knowledge, leading edge technologies and competitive enterprises in: Biotechnology Information and Communications Technology Frontiers Engineering and Science

9 a foundation for research Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Funding Mechanisms Competitive research proposals Emphasize Quality/Excellence International reviewers No interference from politicians or other government departments in SFI’s funding decisions Flexible funding tools Professional scientists as Programme Officers.

10 a foundation for research SFI - Programmes Research Professorship - Up to €2.5M total for 5 years PIYRA – up to €1M total for 4 years INVESTIGATOR Awards – €50K to €1M per year for 3-5 years Research Frontiers Programme – About €200K total over 3 years CSETs – University-Industry Partnerships – up to €25M over 5 years UREKA Programme – Undergraduate Research - 3 group awards STARs – High School teachers summer programme - 50 awards Walton Fellow Visitor Awards – International 6 month – 1 year Workshops & Conferences Grants – up to €50K

11 a foundation for research CSETs - Centres for Science, Engineering, & Technology SFI funding: up to €25m (€5m/yr), over 5 yrs, renewable True centre: whole greater than sum of parts, synergy… Partnerships with industry: 20% cost share (particularly people) Real intellectual partnerships Strategically important to Ireland Inc.: advancing BioT and ICT Research excellence: potential to be best in world – “edge” Outstanding Director Important Education & Outreach component

12 a foundation for research ICT CSETs (2003 & 2004) Digital Enterprise Research Institute Director: Dieter Fensel Web: Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures & Nanodevices Director: John Pethica Web: Centre for Telecommunications Value-Chain-Driven Research Director: Donal O’Mahony Web: ctvr.tcd.ie CTVR

13 a foundation for research Impediments to Innovation Intellectual Property agreements Postgraduate education

14 a foundation for research Goals of IP Management Research Producing Organisation processes for managing and exploiting IP should be: Open, reliable and useful for business and industry Highly attractive to research sponsors and collaborators Self perpetuating and self regulating Efficient.

15 a foundation for research Issues in Postgraduate Education Breadth in discipline Mobility Career paths Professional training Interdisciplinary programmes Funding

16 a foundation for research Breadth in the Discipline Thesis only PhD is norm in Ireland Graduate course work needed. WHY? Graduate qualifying examination? Need to coordinate across institutions to provide courses in small countries. (these have small disciplinary departments)

17 a foundation for research Mobility Undergraduates do graduate degrees in same institution. (Irish problem?) International mobility Visas Funding eg Marie Curie Fellowships Language

18 a foundation for research Career Paths Belief in academia that best/only position is in a University. How to encourage shift in attitude? Internships “Professional” training Use alumni working for industry Talks on entrepreneurship Industrial advisory committees

19 a foundation for research Professional Training Industry looks for: Knowledge in a discipline Problem solving skills Communication skills both oral and written Ability to work in a team Grant writing

20 a foundation for research Interdisciplinary Programmes Poor sister in many cases compared to traditional disciplines. Often key to real world problems Can use central administration eg Graduate Dean to provide leadership and promote. something BUT remember students need to be trained in depth in something

21 a foundation for research Funding European vs US model. US Universities spend more per student by about a factor of 2. ($22,000 vs $10,000 OECD average according to the Economist) OECD Report recommended Ireland charge fees to make up shortfall in funding. Politically unattractive.

22 a foundation for research Summary Ireland has moved forward economically but intends to move more to knowledge based. SFI plays a key role in overall government strategy. Ireland needs to revamp graduate education to better promote and support a knowledge based economy. Important issues are breadth, mobility, career choices, professional training, interdisciplinarity and finances.

23 a foundation for research Contact Information Tel: Fax:

24 a foundation for research Industry Research Partnership Supplement To promote Academic – Industry collaborations SFI-funded programmes: already passed international peer review Directly related to & enhance existing SFI programmes Support of up to €200,000 (up to €50k/year) Exchange of personnel (PhDs & Post docs) and expertise between partners Review Criteria: Benefits of the proposal to the existing programme, to the industrial partners, & its strategic impact on Ireland will be reviewed by the Foundation

25 a foundation for research SFI System Staff make final recommendations, not panels, including budget recommendations Recommendations are reviewed by Executive Committee of Directors at SFI Reviews (anonymous) and panel summaries are shared with applicants both for awards and declinations. Statistics and reviewers are published on SFI Web site.

26 a foundation for research Funding Agency Requirements and Guidelines for Managing Research- Generated Intellectual Property. Promote common practice for IP management across funding agencies and Research Performing Orgainisations (RPOs). Strongly encourage RPO, Business and industry research partnerships and technology commercialisation. Support a consistent approach among RPOs for negotiating research and IP commercialisation agreements with any potential sponsors or collaborators. Establish readily understandable procedures and effective incentives for all the vital contributors to IP creation and commercialisation. Prepared by the Commercialisation Steering Committee, Feb 2006

27 a foundation for research Speech by Mary Hanafin, Irish Minister for Education and Science, 11 Dec 2005 “Creating capacity at fourth level is about having quality third level graduates capable of pursuing advanced post-graduate study and research and encouraging them to do this. This is essential to enhance Ireland’s international reputation as a knowledge hub”

28 a foundation for research OECD Economic Outlook


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