Partnering with Enterprise

Each year, the Irish Research Council partners with around 70 organisations, ranging from multinational corporations to SMEs, public-sector agencies and non-governmental organisations, under its enterprise programmes.

We aim to nurture the skills development of excellent early-stage researchers and cultivate independent thinkers by offering a range of opportunities supporting diverse career paths. The enterprise programmes (Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme and the Enterprise Partnership Scheme) are tailored to provide excellent early-stage researchers with vital experience working with an organisation relevant to their field of research. For enterprise and employers, the schemes provide a low-risk, flexible route to research collaboration and identify new talent for innovation. These schemes enrich the pool of knowledge through collaboration and by enabling knowledge exchange with government departments and agencies, enterprise and civic society.

With consideration to the myriad challenges facing the 21st century, we welcome the involvement of those organisations, both large and small, who seek technological, social and sustainable solutions for the problems of people and planet.

For early-stage researchers, our programmes:

  • provide significant hands-on experience working with enterprise
  • offer the opportunity to research challenges and opportunities facing organisations and enterprises
  • facilitate the commercialisation and application of their research
  • nurture the development of both technical and transferable skills, with researchers being co-mentored by leading experts in enterprise and academic domains

For higher education institutions and academic supervisors, our programmes:

  • offer a valuable opportunity to build working relationships with innovative enterprises and organisations
  • provide a means of developing engagement with registered charities and not-for-profit organisations

For enterprise partners, our programmes:

  • facilitate research and build capacity relevant to their business or operational needs
  • create opportunities to build longer-term relationships with emerging research talent
  • offer excellent value for money, minimising risk and maximising shared benefits

Both the Employment-Based Postgraduate Programme and the Enterprise Partnership Scheme facilitate intersectoral collaboration, however there are some important differences between the two schemes:

Employment-Based ProgrammeEnterprise Partnership Scheme
The scholar is an employee of the employment partner and is embedded in that organisation, spending limited time at their higher education institutionThe scholar is primarily based in their higher education institution, but may spend time with their enterprise partner if appropriate
The employment partner must have a base in the Republic of IrelandThe enterprise partner can be based anywhere in the world
The scholar has an academic supervisor within their higher education institutionThe scholar has an academic supervisor within their affiliated higher education institution who they work with closely on a day-to-day basis whilst liaising with their enterprise mentor
The scholar has an employment mentor who they work with closely on a day-to-day basis whilst liaising with their academic supervisorThe scholar has an enterprise mentor who works with them and their academic supervisor

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