Ireland’s Universities Promote Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Ireland’s high-performing universities (above pictured University of Galway) promote innovation and entrepreneurship.

As a result of Ireland’s long-held belief in the need to provide its population with top-quality tertiary education, the country has fostered a network of 13 universities that are crucial elements in the  development of Ireland’s talented workforce.

“There is a genuine love for education here and the idea that education plays central role in upward mobility and in expanding the mind has always been central in the Irish psyche.  Our university system is very strong, and we are good at collaboration.  If a particular expertise isn’t present in an institution, then it’s possible to work with another,” reveal Linda Doyle, provost and president Trinity College Dublin.

The higher ranked globally of Ireland’s universities, Trinity boasts a more than 400-year history of teaching.  A research-intense university with an outstanding reputation, it promotes a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.  “The key thing for us is that entrepreneurial opportunities are present at all stages in a student’s experience at Trinity.  We have spun out over 30 companies in the last five years, raising over $217 million in funding and creating more than 400 jobs,” say Doyle.  “The U. S. is an important market for Irish startups.  Trinity medical device spinouts, for example, build their regulatory approach around the needs of that market, and intellectual-property strategies are also developed in the knowledge that the U. S. is a significant audience.”

Ireland is also home to five new technology universities, where teaching and learning is informed by research.  One of the strengths of these institutions I the real link between industry, education and entrepreneurship.  “We have well-established links with a whole range of companies of all different scales, from big multinationals coming to Ireland to smaller local indigenous companies,” say Maggie Cusack, president of Munster Technological University.  “Entrepreneurship is often something that is separated out by the universities in the UK.  I’m really proud of the fact hat it’s genuinely integrated into what we do here.”

The University of Galway is another prominent institution when it comes to Irish innovation.  “For example, we have a Science Foundation Ireland-funded research center here called Curam.  It’s focused on medical devices and its work is 30% funded by industry, which we work very closely with in order to translate that research into broader economic impact,” explains Ciaran Ohogartaaigh, president of the University of Galway.  “We also have a program called BioInnovate that puts research students into the hospital setting for them to find and resolve problems, with has made a huge difference.

With Ireland pushing toward a more sustainable and greener future, University College Cork (UCC) is just one of the country’s education institutions that puts major emphasis on creating a more sustainable world.  To date UCC researchers have provided energy modeling to support Ireland’s landmark climate policy, including its first low-carbon roadmap in 2013, first climate action plan in 2019, and first carbon budgets in 2022.  That’s real impact.  We have over 220 researchers working on global challenges, such as energy transition climate action and the blue economy.”

Courtesy of Business Focus Supplement USA Today 6/28/2023


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