A key pillar of Government policy involves the use of research and innovation to drive job creation and to make our enterprises more competitive. Ireland is encouraging businesses to invest in research and innovation, while also targeting a more effective commercialisation of the ideas and know-how generated in Irish universities and public research institutions.
The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is the main Government Department responsible for the development, promotion and co-ordination of Ireland's Science, Technology and Innovation policy; and Ireland's policy in European Union and international research activities.
The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) Office of Science, Technology and Innovation (OSTI) is responsible for the development, promotion and co-ordination of Ireland's Science, Technology and Innovation policy; and Ireland's policy in European Union and international research activities.
It is supported also by Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Forfas.
Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) invests in academic researchers and research teams who are most likely to generate new knowledge, leading edge technologies and competitive enterprises in the fields of science and engineering. SFI also advances co-operative efforts among education, government, and industry that support its fields of emphasis and promotes Ireland’s ensuing achievements around the world.
Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. Enterprise Ireland works in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales on global markets. Detailed information on Enterprise Ireland's activities and supports are available on the following website.
Forfás is Ireland's policy advisory body for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation. It provides independent and rigorous research, advice and support to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise, - and Innovation - and government bodies in general.
The Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation provides policy advice to the Irish Government on medium and long-term science, technology and innovation (STI) issues.
Alongside R&D, innovation is essential for businesses to develop and stay competitive.
Intellectual property must be protected to encourage research.
BASIS (Business access to state information and services) delivers government information and services to businesses online. The information is structured around the lifecycle of a business, such as starting up and employing staff.
Enterprise Ireland has responsibility for providing research, development and innovation supports to companies. It provides a range of programmes to companies of all sizes to support innovation and research.
Companies seeking supports in these areas can view the range of programmes available, at the following link:
Some examples of specific programmes are set out below:
The Technology Centres Programme, operated by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland facilitates Irish companies and multinationals to work together on research projects in collaboration with research institutions.
The Technology Gateway Programme facilitates collaboration between Industry and industry led researchers in the Gateway centres located in the Institutes of Technology around Ireland.
The R&D Fund provides financial support and expertise for companies undertaking R&D projects, small and large.
Innovation Partnerships provide funding for collaborative projects between companies and research teams in higher education institutes.
Innovation Vouchers are available to assist a company or companies to explore a business opportunity or problem with a registered knowledge provider.
Support is also provided for High Potential Start Ups (HPSUs). HPSUs are start-up businesses with the potential to develop an innovative product or service for sale on international markets.
Eureka is an international R&D initiative providing an opportunity to meet potential partners, across 35 European countries, for future R&D collaboration.
The COST programme is a framework to bring together research teams from across Europe.
Through the Seventh EU Framework Programme (FP7) grants are provided to co-finance research and technological development.
Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) operates a range of funding programmes, in particular the core Principal Investigator (PI) programme, Centres for Science Engineering Technology (CSET) programme and the Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) programme. These programmes not only increase the number of world-class research teams in areas of strategic importance to Ireland, they also make vital connections with industry partners.
Ireland offers a tax credit scheme for R&D.