Irish Research Council launches Strategic Plan 2020-2024



Posted: 18 March, 2020

– Plan will underpin the Council’s unique role in the Irish research system over the next five years –

The Irish Research Council’s five-year strategic plan was launched today by Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD.

The headline themes for the strategic plan are IdeasPeople and Engagement, and the Council will support each of these critical components of a healthy research and innovation ecosystem over the coming years. Working with the research community, institutions, national and international partners the plan sets out a blueprint to ensure that the Council will maximise delivery for Ireland on its national mandate.

Supporting excellent ideas and talent across all disciplines and fostering vibrant engagement between the people and research that the Council funds and wider society are at the heart of the Council’s mandate, and the plan sets out a comprehensive series of actions which address excellence, partnership, impact, and support for policy. In addition, the plan addresses enhancement of the Council’s capacity as an organisation, under the aegis of the Higher Education Authority.

Welcoming the plan, Minister Halligan stated: “I am delighted to launch the Irish Research Council’s five-year strategic plan. In an increasingly competitive global environment, Ireland must be at the top of its game in research and innovation in order to future-proof our economy, employment and indeed societal progress more widely. Our research and innovation ecosystem is a strategic national resource. The unique role of the Irish Research Council in fostering the discoveries, ideas and innovations of the future is critical to leveraging the full benefit of this resource for now and, more importantly, for the future. I welcome the emphasis in this plan on excellence, engagement and knowledge transfer, and indeed the plan will support the next national strategy for research and development.”

Speaking on the publication of the plan, Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Chair of the Irish Research Council, noted: “This plan will help to future-proof Irish research and innovation and promote the role of the system in successfully meeting the challenges and opportunities that the years ahead will bring. We face the future in an era of increasing environmental, technological and social uncertainty, and a strong and healthy research ecosystem helps to equip us with the tools to effectively navigate these uncertainties. Retaining and attracting excellent researchers across all disciplines and career stages – the ‘talent pipeline’ – is so important to a healthy ecosystem, and this strategic plan will underpin the critical role that the Council plays in powering the pipeline. As Chair of the Council, and together with my fellow Council members, we are looking forward greatly to working with the executive leadership, the Department and wider stakeholders to bring the vision and mission of this plan to full fruition.”

Peter Brown, Director of the Irish Research Council, added: “I am delighted to see the publication of our new strategic plan today. It was clear from the consultation and discussion around this plan that the mandate and unique role of the Council is as important for the research and innovation system today as it was when the first research council was established two decades ago. Priorities, challenges and opportunities change over time, but the need to ensure that we have world-class researchers at a given career stage, and across the breadth of disciplines, is a constant. Researchers provide important cutting-edge skills, knowledge and intellectual capital that are essential to an innovative economy and society. Through this strategic plan, the Council will play a key role in ensuring that Ireland’s needs for such skills and knowledge will continue to be met.”

Read the Strategic Plan here

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