Minister English Launches the Irish Research Council Annual Report 2014 which highlights that €2.5m is being invested by business in 300 individual top emerging researchers

Posted: 14 August, 2015

In 2014, Irish businesses were investing over €2.5m under the Irish Research Council’s enterprise schemes in 300 top emerging researchers. The individuals are being supported in sectors as diverse as construction to financial services to medical devices. The businesses have partnered with the Irish Research Council to provide support for developing the employment potential of these individuals and to enable innovative research.

In 2014 alone, 32% of all new PhD and Masters individual scholarships awarded by the Council were jointly funded by business partners (102 of 320). This is up significantly from 16% in 2013.

Launching the Irish Research Council Annual Report 2014, the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, said “Irish business increasingly understands the importance of innovation, and this government is committed to supporting companies in this regard. This year, more than 60% of the jointly funded awards from the Council are in partnership with SMEs, who we particularly want to support in enhancing their research and innovation capacity. As the economy grows, innovative companies will increasingly need highly skilled individuals to help translate new ideas and technologies into market-ready products and services. The Council’s enterprise programmes contribute to the pipeline of ‘enterprise-ready’, cutting-edge talent to meet companies’ innovation needs. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, and of course for Ireland as a whole.”

Dr. Eucharia Meehan, Director of the Irish Research Council said ‘300 employers have now partnered and jointly-funded emerging researchers  with the Council, and that growing number is testimony to the significant opportunities offered by these programmes’.

Other highlights reported by the Irish Research Council include:

  • Contributing to Ireland’s Research and Innovation standing globally through funding of 1418 researchers
  • Irish higher education institutions reported as being in the top 1% of world higher education institutions (Thomson Reuters 2014)
  • Ireland is ranked 18th in terms of Human Capital and Research (Global Innovation Index 2014)
  • For 11 of 20 Essential Science Indicators, Ireland is in the top 20 of world research impact rankings (Thomson Reuters 2014)

Contributing to Ireland’s success in Europe

  • 9 individual researchers, former Irish Research Council awardees and academic supervisors, won prestigious European Research Council awards in the 2014 calls.
  • The Council reported in the top 5 most successful Marie Curie Co-fund participating institutions in FP7 (European Commission).
  • On behalf of Ireland, the Council and SFI have supported the third highest conversion rate of applications to success at the European Research Council (European Commission).