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Top-class science in Ireland helping to engineer economic rejuvenation – Sherlock

Minister for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock today launched Science Foundation Ireland's (SFI) Annual Report for 2010.

The Government agency, funded through the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI), last year facilitated a dramatic 44% increase in collaborations between SFI funded scientists and Ireland’s enterprise sector whose competitiveness is increasingly determined by a capacity to innovate.

A further impressive 12% rise in international academic partnerships was also achieved to leverage significant additional scientific knowledge from SFI-funded research.

Launching the report, Minister of State Sherlock said:

Such a massive increase in the total number of collaborations, now standing at 867 and up from 601 in 2009, is certainly to be lauded and is in keeping with the Government’s agenda to facilitate greater commercialisation of research.

The Minister added:

The very impressive increases in SFI funded collaborations, whether via multinational corporations (up 32% to a total of 237) or the SME sector (up 63% to 245) shows that forging relationships with critical sectors is being prioritised by our academic community in unison with enterprise. This is where science needs to be in the context of helping to engineer economic rejuvenation in Ireland over the coming years.

SFI’s reach is now truly global given that its funded researchers last year engaged in 1,700 international academic collaborations spanning 58 countries. This is clear evidence that Ireland is extending its scientific reach and influence and these connections are playing a key role in rebuilding Ireland’s international reputation.

The Minister concluded by saying:

I am confident that with Dublin set to host the European City of Science in 2012, we will enhance our partnerships with overseas scientific counterparts even further next year.

Read the full press release here