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National consultation on the future of research and innovation in Ireland

National consultation on the future of research and innovation in Ireland 

Ireland's Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris launched on Friday, 11 June, 2021, a national public consultation to hear people’s views on the future of Ireland as a world leader in research and innovation.

The online public consultation process will be conducted over the coming weeks. In addition, key stakeholders across research, innovation, industry and civic society, will engage in a number of discussion fora. The outcomes from these consultation processes will help inform the National Research and Innovation Strategy.

The aim of the public consultation is to develop the next National Research and Innovation Strategy, which will build the capacity and capability of the research and innovation system to tackle the big issues facing our country, from the expansion of digital capabilities, underpinning economic strength, fighting climate change and future-proofing Ireland against unprecedented crises.

Minister Harris called upon members of the public, as well as the research and innovation community, to have their say by submitting suggestions on how Ireland can place research and innovation at the heart of addressing the country’s greatest economic and societal challenges.

Minister Harris said:

“This is an opportunity to help shape the Irish research and innovation landscape and policy direction for years to come.

“This national strategy will set a vision and ambition for Ireland’s research and innovation system to rival that of any other country. We want to build a world class environment for research and innovation and make excellence our consistent goal.

“To achieve this we must tackle the big challenges – I’m talking about climate change, ensuring we are digitally agile, giving small businesses the opportunity to allow research and innovation drive their growth, and creating a higher education environment where our research talent can expand and flourish.

“We have seen over the last year how essential our access to world class research and expertise has been in addressing and adapting to the challenges rising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous investment in research and innovation placed us in a position to face the crisis, and so too will research and innovation be our best tools in shaping the future of Ireland as we begin our recovery.

“We want to hear from both the research and innovation community and the wider public about their views on key strategic priorities and actions as we set out on an ambitious and transformative pathway to build capacity and capability across the entire research and innovation system in the coming years.”

The development of a new national strategy for research and innovation in Ireland is a key commitment in the government’s Economic Recovery Plan 2021 , which sets out the “dual ambition of placing research, development and innovation at the heart of addressing Ireland’s economic and societal challenges, and building capacity and capability across the research and innovation system to move R&I up the value chain.”

It is intended that the new strategy will be a high level framework setting out national goals and objectives out to 2027. It will be accompanied by action-led Work Programmes to deliver on the goals and objectives over the period of the strategy.

The Department of Further and Higher Education, Innovation, Science and Research has identified a number of strategic priorities and areas of action for consideration as part of the consultation process to develop the next national Research and Innovation Strategy. The suggested strategic priorities and areas of action aim to ensure that the Strategy delivers a research and innovation system that contributes to contributes to longer term economic, social and cultural development through:

  • the creation of a broad knowledge foundation for sustainable wealth generation
  • the creation of new knowledge
  • building economic resilience to underpin our economic recovery
  • the expansion of human understanding
  • the provision of a stronger source of information for better decision making across the entire span of social, cultural and economic activities

The public consultation for the National Research and Innovation Strategy will be complemented by the 'Creating Our Future - a National Conversation on Research in Ireland' initiative , which will be running in parallel to the development of the National Research and Innovation Strategy, from July to November 2021.

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