THE Government needs to do more to encourage risk-takers and entrepreneurs if we are to rebuild a smarter economy out of this recession, a leading academic said last night.
Professor Martin Curley of NUI Maynooth, who has written a "how to" book on promoting innovation, said there was no point in the Government and seed capitalists simply backing ideas which are already a "sure thing".
Instead, there should be stronger links between the inventors and the investors so good ideas have a chance to get off the ground, he said.
Prof Curley, Director of Intel Labs Europe, has co-written a book entitled 'Knowledge-driven entrepreneurship -- the key to social and economic transformation', with Professor Thomas Andersson and Professor Piero Formica.
Prof Curley said we were now entering an age when knowledge itself was the commodity, replacing bricks and mortar or objects.
He cited the example of Apple, which had turned its product into a service through iTunes. The company now has App Store, which encourages a community of software developers to create applications which Apple customers can upload for a small fee which is shared with the creator.
For example, the designer of a map of the London Underground gets about 70pc of the fee paid by iPod users who upload the application. Apple gets the rest.
Prof Curley said that in Ireland there was a great opportunity to foster innovation but it needed to be done in a very focused way.
Climate change, clean energy and ageing societies are among the areas Prof Curley believes the Government should focus on.