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Industry-Academia Collaboration: A Competence Centre Approach for Ireland?

Blue Paper Abstract

The creation and use of knowledge is at the heart of the Irish government's plans for driving sustainable future economic growth in Ireland. This is set out clearly in its Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and reflected in the National Development Plan. Collaboration between industry and academia is an acknowledged pivotal dynamic within this and, therefore, the government is placing increased emphasis on its enhancement. Competence centres - typically centres based in the third-level sector that deliver an industry-driven medium term research programme - are a critical element of this planned approach.

This study sets the scene for the establishment of such centres in Ireland by exploring the theory underpinning industry-academia collaboration and by looking at two leading international models - in Sweden and Austria. Bringing this to bear on the Irish context, it proposes a strategic framework for the optimisation of future state investments in this area and highlights relevant insights from overseas for consideration in the development of competence centres in Ireland.

This paper was launched by Professor Frances Ruane, Director of the ESRI on Monday 19 November 2007.

About the Author

Nicki O'Connor has held roles as policy analyst with Enterprise Ireland, Visiting Research Fellow at the Policy Institute and senior policy advisor with Forfas, all in the STI field. Previously, she worked with the Institute of European Affairs and Bank of Ireland. She currently manages the campus incubation programme at Enterprise Ireland.

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Last updated 27 November 2012 .