Monday 19 March 2018

Government aims to increase research and development spend to €5bn by 2020

Damien English
Damien English
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

The Government will today announce plans to substantially increase the private spend of research and development (R&D) across the country to €5bn by 2020.

The strategy, titled Innovation 2020, also details a five year plan for science and technology which hopes to see an increase of 30pc in research masters and PhD enrolements.

One of the main objectives of the strategy is to increase total investment in R&D in Ireland to 2.5pc of gross national product (GNP). Should the increase be successful it would incur a €2.1bn jump in current R&D levels.

Speaking about the strategy, minister for research, innovation and skills, Damien English, said that developing the country's talent is critical.

"Our success in delivering  on  our  vision  will  depend  on  our people - undertaking the research,  working in and creating successful enterprises, and contributing to  the  society in which we live.  We will support talent development from primary  level  through to Postdoctoral research and from frontier research across  all  disciplines  to  practical  application.  We  will support the successful  deployment of that talent and research in driving innovation in enterprises and public services," the minister said.

As part of Innovation 2020 the Government aims to produce a success to the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions. The programmes successor will include investment in the creation of new facilities and equipment.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says that the strategy sets out the Government's intention to become a global innovation leader.

"Our reputation for research excellence  has  been  a  major  catalyst  in our success in attracting and maintaining  foreign direct investment, and this Strategy demonstrates that we  remain strongly committed to maintaining and improving standards in the excellence of our research," the Taoiseach said.

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