Impact 2030: Ireland’s New Research and Innovation Strategy Launched by Minister Harris

Pictured is Minister Simon Harris TD speaking at the launch of Impact 2030 at University College Dublin.

Impact 2030: Ireland’s New Research and Innovation Strategy Launched by Minister Harris

Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science today launched 'Impact 2030: Ireland’s New Research and Innovation Strategy ' at an event held at University College Dublin.

The core purpose of the new national strategy is to ensure that Ireland’s investment in research and innovation makes as big a difference as possible to as many people as possible.

Impact 2030 will achieve this by building a more inclusive and engaged research and innovation system that is recognised as integral to addressing major societal issues ranging from climate change to health and wellbeing.

In order to realise this vision, the strategy will foster greater engagement among a wide range of stakeholders including research organisations, the tertiary education system, enterprise, public policymakers, civic society organisations and European partners.

Minister Simon Harris TD said, “The Irish research and innovation system is a strategic national asset that – through the whole-of-Government approach taken by Impact 2030 – will deliver solutions and will create opportunities to address these grand challenges, building on and continuing its very successful role in Ireland’s economic performance and resilience to date. We know we have much more to do to strengthen and support research and innovation in our higher education institutions, in our enterprises, in our public service and for our people.”

Pictured (l-r) UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact Professor Orla Feely; Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD; UCD Acting Registrar and Deputy President Professor Barbara Dooley; and Deirdre Lillis, Head of Research, Innovation, Evidence for Policy and EU/International, Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “UCD warmly welcomes the Government’s vision in the new national Research and Innovation strategy launched today at UCD, that reinforces the public research and innovation system as a key strategic asset and a driver of societal and economic development for the country.

Coupled with the recent announcement on a sustainable funding model for Irish higher education, Funding the Future, the research and innovation strategy will enable Ireland to take its place as a European innovation leader increasing our attractiveness to the best international students and researchers and to investors.”

Greater engagement will be achieved through a range of initiatives, including:

  • deeper involvement by the public in the research process, leveraging the recent success of the 'Creating Our Future ' campaign, in which people throughout the country submitted over 18,000 ideas about how research and innovation can enhance people’s lives
  • the creation of a new competitive research and innovation funding agency that, as well as investing in excellent research within disciplines, will integrate human and sciences perspectives
  • amalgamating the functions and activities of the Irish Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland, which will be given effect through a landmark research bill
  • linkages between the public research system and policymakers will be enhanced, led by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science’s new Evidence for Policy Unit, and supported by new science advice structures
  • the technological universities’ research and innovation offices will be strengthened in order to increase regional impact
  • a focus placed on increasing the number of female entrepreneurs and researchers and increasing the number of research students from underrepresented groups. This will include a report on inclusion and diversity in the Irish research system to identify issues that host institutions need to address
  • enterprise performance throughout the regions will be supported by a new national smart specialisation strategy, led by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
  • a research and innovation advisory forum will be set up that will provide a platform for strategic engagement with the research and innovation community and international experts, chaired by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Minister Harris TD added, “As the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level, Ireland needs to be a location of choice for the best and the brightest in order to realise our ambitions. The fundamental driver of Impact 2030 will be making a real difference for all people across Ireland and beyond.

He concluded, “We will create an inclusive research and innovation system delivering the solutions for Irish society and our economy, solving our common challenges through teamwork, and enhancing our reputation. Achieving our goals will require intense collaboration. The prize could not be more consequential for us and our future generations.”

Professor Feely added, “The establishment of a national R&I Advisory Forum is an important vehicle for ongoing engagement with public research organisations, industry, communities and international experts. This inclusive approach will support successful implementation of the strategy and the impact it will deliver for all citizens.

UCD looks forward to working with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and with our partners in higher education, industry and wider Government to implement this important and exciting strategy for Ireland.”

The overarching purpose of Impact 2030: Ireland’s Research and Innovation Strategy to 2030, is to maximise the impact of research and innovation on multiple national priorities. Grounded in extensive consultation and analysis, it will progress objectives that are shared across the Irish research and innovation system. These include, for example, ensuring that research expertise is more accessible to policymakers and the public, and nurturing and attracting top talent.


18 May 2022

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, e:

Editors Notes

Impact 2030 is composed of five pillars on the impact of:

  • research and Innovation on our economy, society and the environment
  • research and innovation structures on excellence and outcomes
  • innovation on enterprise success
  • talent at the centre of the research and innovation ecosystem
  • research and innovation on Ireland’s all-island, EU and global connectivity

Execution of the strategy will be by way of three three-year work programmes, the first of which accompanies its publication.