June 22, 2024

KT Business

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Commercialisation of Irish research set to soar with KT Boost

3 min read

But while the topic is high on the agenda in every business sector and is regularly discussed by industry, government and media commentators, we don’t always talk about how RDI affects our everyday lives.

In fact, improving people’s lives and contributing to society in creating sustainable jobs is the ultimate goal of all the research being conducted in Ireland’s third level colleges.

There were more than 1,500 collaborations between Irish enterprise and universities

Researchers in our higher education institutions (HEIs), including more than 10,000 PhD candidates, work on exciting projects from cutting-edge medical devices to quantum computing initiatives.

This research activity is focused on new innovation and improving products, services and outcomes across healthcare, mobility, agriculture, food, sustainability and much more.

Not only that, but when researchers create spin-out businesses to commercialise their work, they end up creating jobs and developing businesses that operate out of Ireland and serve the world.

Global Irish success stories that started this way include InfiniLED, SoapBox Labs, Output Sports, Iona Technologies and many more.

This is why Ireland invests close to €1bn annually in HEI research and innovation under ‘Impact 2030’, Ireland’s research and innovation strategy.

And it’s why Enterprise Ireland launched the KT Boost programme last week – to bring firepower to Ireland’s research system and maximise the economic and social impact from the investment.

Designed to make the most of high performance research at university level, KT Boost will run over four years. Worth €33.4m, it will support innovation and technology transfer offices in HEIs to help them to drive research commercialisation and bring more Irish ingenuity to the world.

​Launched by Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney, KT Boost will deliver the resources needed to unlock the commercial potential of deep research in a speedy and appropriate way.

In 2022 there were more than 1,500 collaborative engagements between Irish enterprise and universities. This investment will also help to make sure existing industry engages with the research being done in at third level.

Enterprise Ireland strongly encourages industry and enterprise representatives to engage with innovation offices so they can harness research that is already under way to support their in-house innovation agenda.​

On the ground, the KT Boost programme will fund recruitment, skillset development and training within innovation/technology transfer offices. It aims to ensure HEIs have the right people with the right skills to propel research commercialisation.

The specialists funded by the programme will support knowledge and technology transfer activities including intellectual property (IP) management and licensing, and spin-off creation.

The programme also aims to speed up and simplify transactions with innovation offices.

Ultimately, KT Boost is expected to accelerate the rate of high potential startups evolving from research or emerging from colleges. It will also increase the volume of IP licences and research agreements for these companies. ​

The KT Boost Programme is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union under two European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Regional Programmes.

Marina Donohoe is head of research and innovation at Enterprise Ireland


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