Published on 

Ministers Bruton and Sherlock launch Research Prioritisation Plan

Jobs Minister, Richard Bruton, along with Research Minister Mr Sean Sherlock, today launched the Government’s plan to target the majority of the Government’s core €500million budget that the State spends on scientific research every year on areas with the greatest potential for economic return. The Report of the Research Prioritisation Steering Group recommended 14 specific areas of greatest opportunity.

Today’s event represents the delivery of a major action due for implementation in Q1 under the Action Plan for Jobs 2012.

Minister Bruton said:

A key part of the Government’s plan to create the employment we need is to ensure that the Government’s core €500million research budget is focused on turning good ideas into good jobs.

In recent years we have built up a very substantial base of world-class scientific research taking place in Ireland. The challenge now is to ensure that this activity is translated into commercial outcomes and sustainable businesses and sustainable jobs. With determined implementation of the recommendations of this report we can make sure that this happens.

The Government also announced the establishment of a Prioritisation Action Group, chaired by Minister Sherlock, which will oversee implementation of the recommendations of the report.

As part of the prioritisation process, the following four criteria had to be fulfilled:

•A global market exists in which Irish-based enterprises can compete

•Public R&D in Ireland is required to exploit the opportunity

•Ireland has strengths in related research disciplines

•A national or global challenge exists which Ireland should respond to

Of the Prioritisation Action Group, Minister Sherlock said:

We need to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of research programmes and structures and a vital element here will be measuring the impact on the priority areas - we need to have indicators that measure outcomes and impacts rather than just looking at inputs.

This announcement comes as part of a series of Government measures aimed at better targeting the State’s scientific research budget at achieving commercial outcomes.