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Posted 16 June 2009

UCD and TCD sign agreement with Silicon Valley Irish tech leaders to drive innovation, new business creation and funding, and augment student experience at 4th Level

September 10th partners’ summit in Washington DC to develop collaboration

The UCD/TCD Innovation Alliance has signed a transatlantic collaboration agreement with the Silicon Valley-based Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG)  to drive innovation and create new business on the island of Ireland.

Pictured far-right:  Dr Hugh Brady, President of University College Dublin; John Hartnett, Chairman of the ITLG; and Dr John Hegarty, Provost of Trinity College Dublin

UCD President, Dr, Hugh Brady and TCD Provost, Dr John Hegarty, along with ITLG chairman John Hartnett, announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote technological innovation through this unique Ireland-US partnership. The agreement will see the ITLG working with the Universities to advance the goals of the recently announced Innovation Alliance. ITLG will contribute their expertise to enhance the training of students participating in the newly formed TCD/UCD Innovation Academy. The ITLG will also help grow the number of new, quality business spin-outs from the Alliance.  In addition, Irish Technology Capital (ITC), a sister organization of ITLG, will help to drive VC funding in Ireland.

The academic and industry leaders also announced that they would lead their respective organisations at a summit meeting to be hosted at the Irish embassy in Washington DC on 10th September 2009. The objective of the summit will be to devise a program of specific collaboration around the goals as set out in the MOU. 

The Innovation Alliance/ITLG MOU defines a number of key areas where the parties collectively agree:

  1. To explore and advance new mechanisms for business creation and scaling for Ireland; 
  2. To explore creation and management of a dedicated technology venture capital fund;
  3. To partner on the delivery of innovation training to the student body of the Innovation Alliance, through case study presentation and mentoring of project work within the Innovation Academy.

Commenting on the MOU, John Hartnett, chairman of the ITLG said: “In the midst of Ireland’s economic turmoil, there has never been a more important moment to foster and invest in technological innovation. ITLG is delighted to seize the opportunity to pursue that objective in partnership with two of Ireland’s premier research universities through the Innovation Alliance. In time, great things will flow from this kind of close collaboration, building Ireland’s economic future on a new, more solid foundation of knowledge and enterprise”.

Commenting on behalf of the Innovation Alliance, the President of UCD, Dr Hugh Brady said: “Among the challenges Ireland faces is to continue to develop and scale-up partnerships with overseas industry.  By fostering links with the Irish Technology Leadership Group, we hope to convince some of their members to bring their entrepreneurial flare, commercial experience and indeed, venture capital to Ireland. We are firmly confident that the calibre of our graduates and our research will encourage greater engagement between the Innovation Alliance and the ITLG.”
Adding his support, TCD Provost Dr John Hegarty said: “We are very pleased to forge a partnership with the ITLG in this fashion. The ITLG is a new force in the US comprised as it is of very successful Irish entrepreneurs with a keen interest in Ireland and its development along new paths. In the Innovation Alliance we would like to expose our students a little more to that spirit of creativity, entrepreneurship and drive for success that characterizes the ITLG members, themselves graduates of the Irish education system. The signing today is the result of a relationship which has been developing for some time with the ITLG, and marks a big step forward for the Alliance and the country.”

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Pictured far-right: Dr Hugh Brady, President of University College Dublin; John Hartnett, Chairman of the ITLG; and Dr John Hegarty, Provost of Trinity College Dublin