THE LAUNCH this week of Competence Centres by Minister for Enterprise Mary Coughlan was a formality for an industry-led research initiative that is already under way. Five of the proposed nine centres have received €1 million in start-up funding. The centres are the latest in a long line of Government research and development (R&D) initiatives, but they are a step that all involved say is significantly different.
A joint venture between Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, the Competence Centres address the biggest challenge for third-level research: turning ideas into marketable applications with commercial value. In the past, blue-sky projects have been criticised for soaking up funding with little chance of commercial payback.
The programme was kickstarted by a call for private consortiums to come forward with ideas, prompting multinationals and indigenous start-ups to join forces with academia in pursuit of common goals. The endgame is intellectual property with commercial applications owned by the university, but licensed first to participating companies. Read More
Courtesy: Irish Times