Shaping the Future – University College Dublin Launches its New Strategy for Research, Innovation and Impact

Shaping the Future – University College Dublin Launches its New Strategy for Research, Innovation and Impact

University College Dublin (UCD) today announced the launch of Shaping the Future, the University’s new strategy for research, innovation and impact until 2024.

The strategy outlines how UCD will build on successes to date to produce excellent and impactful research and innovation that makes a real difference in areas of national and global challenge. The overall objective for the strategy is to increase the quality, quantity and impact of UCD’s research, scholarship and innovation.

To achieve this objective, the University will emphasise excellence and impact in all aspects of its research and innovation, delivering both at a scale that allows UCD to make a difference nationally and internationally. This will be achieved by investing in people and providing a research culture and environment in which they are supported to deliver on their potential and ambitions.

Key UCD research and innovation facts and figures include;

  • UCD’s annual research income exceeds €120 million
  • UCD research publications have a citation impact 75% above the world average
  • UCD has collaborated with over 850 companies on research projects during the past 10 years
  • UCD researchers have disclosed over 365 inventions during the past 5 years
  • Over 60 start-ups and established companies are currently located at NovaUCD and NexusUCD and across the UCD campus.

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “I am delighted to launch Shaping the Future our new strategy for research, innovation and impact until 2024. By rising to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic with resilience, creativity, and commitment, our researchers have shown how we can rise to other major global challenges, in areas such as climate change, digital transformation and healthy ageing.  The period of this strategy will be one of great disruption, but we can act to shape the future through the excellent and impactful work of UCD’s vibrant research and innovation community.”

Prof. Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact

She added, “In implementing this strategy, UCD will emphasise excellence in every aspect of our delivery and support of research and innovation. We will invest in people and in an environment that enables their success.  Our research culture will prioritise integrity, dignity and respect, and we will reflect our commitment to sustainability throughout our research and innovation. We will collaborate and learn across disciplines, and the strategic themes and major campaigns will provide cross-cutting opportunities for our community to deliver impact at scale in areas of global need.” 

Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science said, “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate UCD, a leader in research and innovation, on the launch of Shaping the Future, its new and ambitious research, innovation and impact strategy.”

“During the last year UCD researchers across many disciplines have demonstrated the importance of research and scientific evidence in tackling the coronavirus pandemic, and how investments made over many years were key in enabling the research community to respond so quickly to the challenges posed by COVID-19.”

“As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, we are all looking to the future, and building capacity and capability of the research and innovation system through excellence, impact, and in particular people and creating the right environment within which research and innovation can flourish is key.”

He added, “My vision is to see us become an innovation island, with my Department providing direction on strategy, funding and structural reform for the research and innovation ecosystem and regional and national linkage with enterprise, in particular SMEs. I am delighted to see that UCD’s research and innovation strategy complements this vision and have no doubt that UCD in delivering on Shaping the Future will not only strengthen research and innovation within the university but will also play a key role at both a national and international level in shaping the future.”

He concluded, “I look forward to continuing to work with the UCD research and innovation community as we look to building a brighter future together.”

The publication of Shaping the Future follows on from the launch of Rising to the Future, the UCD Strategy for 2020-2024 by Professor Andrew J. Deeks, President, UCD.

Rising to the Future sets a bold ambition for the University based around four strategic themes; Creating a sustainable global society, Building a healthy world, Empowering humanity, and Transforming through digital technology. Shaping the Future outlines how research and innovation activities will support the delivery of impact within these strategic and interdisciplinary themes.

Click here to download a copy of Shaping the Future.


26 March 2021

For more information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, t: + 353 1 716 3712, e:

Editors Notes

Key actions outlined in Shaping the Future are;

  • We will achieve excellent research, scholarship and innovation within and across disciplines
  • We will seek out and develop partnerships that enable excellent research and innovation
  • Our innovation activity will build on a foundation of demonstrable excellence
  • We will grow and showcase our areas of strength, scale and global relevance
  • We will support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • We will invest in major initiatives and facilities to achieve impact through innovation
  • UCD will lead partnerships that can achieve breakthrough impact
  • Our research and innovation will deliver real benefits to students
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion will be at the heart of our actions
  • Outstanding people are our key resource, and we will support them to succeed
  • Faculty, researchers, and support staff will benefit from development programme
  • Faculty will be supported to focus on excellence, and mobilise quickly
  • Postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers are key to our research success
  • Our research culture will reflect UCD’s values
  • Our supports for research and innovation will exemplify best practice and enable success
  • UCD will work with our partners to develop the national research and innovation system
  • We will grow our international success in research and innovation.