Science strategy aimed at increasing R&D funding
A New Science Strategy
The Irish government recently introduced its new science strategy with a key focus of doubling the total research and development spending in Ireland by the year 2020. The new scheme dubbed “Innovation 2020” means Ireland will open negotiations with many international research organisations with the view of joining them, particularly high profile facilities such as CERN and the European Southern Observatory.
A New Interdisciplinary Fund
The Irish Research Council will create a new interdisciplinary fund in the next two year to promote early-stage cutting edge research. The main aim of this fund is to address an imbalance that exists between funding for basic science and that aimed at job creation.
Investing in Education
The state will in addition continue investment in education, and reaffirms previous commitments by the Government to ensure a total of 2.5% of gross national product is spent on R&D publicly and privately by 2020. To achieve this goal the estimated spending will need to see an increase of €2.1 billion from €2.9bn to €5bn.
Talent in the sector is also a key factor in the new science strategy with a goal of a 30% increase in new enrollments in research-based Masters or PhDs each year.
A new concept “challenge-based funding” as part of the Innovation 2020 will see the Government identifying industry and academia with specific scientific or technological problems and research funding directed specifically at these problem areas.
Innovation 2020 Plan
The Innovation 2020 plan is the result of two years of consultation between State and Government agencies with business, academia and other relevant stakeholders to research to draft the innovation plan.
Business has been the key driver of this plan as approximately two thirds of R&D spending in Ireland is done by companies.