Trinity launches new ‘gateway’ to give enterprise access to research talent

Posted on: 31 March 2014

University partners with Ibec to announce Office of Corporate Partnership and Knowledge Exchange

The office aims to:

  •   Link enterprise and academia without barriers through a new ‘front door’ for    support
  •   Help companies to become more research-active
  •   Enable quick decision-making and a streamlined approach to enterprise engagement

A new gateway was launched  by Trinity College Dublin in conjunction with business organisation Ibec, will help companies to scale and create jobs by making it easier to partner with the university on research activity.

The new Office of Corporate Partnership and Knowledge Exchange will link enterprise and academia without barriers. It is part of Trinity’s recently launched Strategy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship which is embedding innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the university.

‘The office is a new “front door” that will proactively connect industry and academics,’ said Trinity’s Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast. ‘Trinity wants to scale our engagement with small businesses and with multinational corporations, especially in Dublin city centre where many are clustering. We will reach out to the enterprise community to help them build on their existing research activity and create more value-added products and services. This, in turn, will help fuel the innovation economy for Ireland,’ he said.

The Office for Corporate Partnership and Knowledge Exchange is part of Trinity Research and Innovation. Trinity’s offices of research, contract, technology transfer, and industry engagement, as well as entrepreneurship supports, will all sit in one unit. That will enable a more streamlined approach to enterprise engagement.

The new office will be responsible for managing all aspects of interactions with industry. It will support industry in getting involved in Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. It will help businesses to access cutting-edge infrastructure and researchers, supporting all research projects from first steps to large-scale collaborations. That will develop business innovation, linked to more exports and jobs.

‘Our new approach is based on “open innovation”,’ said the Director of Trinity Research and Innovation, Dr Diarmuid O’Brien. ‘We want to work with companies, large and small, to improve their competitiveness. Companies that are research-active are creating jobs and exports. Trinity is Ireland’s leading research institution, and we want to partner with companies to enable them to scale,’ said Dr O’Brien.

Trinity’s Dean of Research, Professor Vinny Cahill, said the approach is part of the Strategy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – a new integrated approach to innovation and entrepreneurship education for the whole university.

‘We see Dublin as the hub of a regional economic cluster marked by innovative companies, with Trinity acting as the city centre “connector” for enterprise and academia. At the heart of our strategy is a drive to reach out and help enterprise to scale in a mutually enabling partnership for society and the economy,’ said Professor Cahill.

The Office of Corporate Partnership and Knowledge Exchange will be supported by business leaders serving on a knowledge transfer and innovation committee. This committee will reinforce the office’s enterprise-facing mission, and advocate for Trinity in the enterprise community. Among the business leaders on the committee are Steve Collins, Founder of Havoc and Swrve, and Eoin O’Sullivan, Director of the Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy at the University of Cambridge.

Danny McCoy, Ibec CEO, welcomed Trinity’s approach to enterprise outreach.

‘Ireland needs a business environment that promotes innovation, enterprise and entrepreneurship. Trinity’s new office will make it easier for companies to partner with a world-leading university to scale globally. Enhancing links between business and higher education is key to Ireland’s economic recovery. Research and development helps increase our exports, and attract new investment,’ said Mr McCoy.

Notes for editors:

  • In the past five years, Trinity has signed 450 contracts with industry. We have produced 38 spin-out companies – more than any other Irish higher education institution. Trinity now accounts for almost one-quarter of all spin-out companies emerging from Ireland’s higher education institutions.
  • In the past two years, eight Trinity spin-out companies have won more than €60 million in venture investment. This venture capital investment performance outpaces any other Irish higher education institution. Among Trinity’s spin-out companies are software firm Iona Technologies and gaming technology company Havoc. Identigen, another Trinity spin-out, first discovered equine DNA in meat samples last year, prompting the documented meat contamination scandal;
  • Last year, Trinity, with partners, was involved in 29 FP7 projects, with an award value of almost €14 million. The new Strategy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship aims to support 160 start-up companies over the first three years through spin-outs, spin-ins, and support for student and graduate enterprises;
  • According to Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators, in terms of research impact as measured by citations, Trinity ranks among the world’s top 1% of research institutions in 17 STEM and social sciences fields, including immunology, materials science, and molecular biology and genetics;
  • Trinity created Science Gallery on our Dublin campus, attracting almost 1.5 million people to unique exhibitions of science and art since 2008. Now, Science Gallery is going global, with plans to partner with eight top universities worldwide.