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Shaping the Future – University College Dublin launches new Research, Innovation and Impact strategy

Posted 26 March, 2021

University College Dublin has launched its new strategy to increase the quality, quantity and impact of its research, scholarship and innovation.

Outlined in 'Shaping the Future', the new strategy will build on UCD's successes to date to produce excellent and impactful research and innovation that makes a real difference in areas of national and global challenge.

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.

At the launch of the new strategy, Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said: “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.”

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,: “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.”

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, UCD President.

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.

Shaping the Future is available to download here.

By: Staff Writers, UCD University Relations (with materials from Micéal Whelan, UCD Research and Innovation)