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The Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre

An Lárionad Nuála agus Aistrithe Teicneolaíochta

UCD/TCD Innovation Alliance

Building on the success of NovaUCD and that of its counterpart at Trinity College Dublin, UCD and TCD jointly unveiled, in March 2009, a visionary job creation plan as part of the national recovery initiative built around the development of the Smart Economy.

The UCD/TCD Innovation Alliance is a radical partnership which will work with the education sector, the State and its agencies along with the business and venture capital communities to develop a world-class ecosystem for innovation that will drive enterprise development and the creation of sustainable high-value jobs.

By forming the Innovation Alliance both universities recognise a need to evolve and play a powerful role within such an ecosystem. Evidence shows that during recession, innovation thrives and new realities bring with them new opportunities. The Government’s Smart Economy framework pinpointed the ingenuity of the Irish people as the way forward for the country. In that context, as institutions with a relevant responsibility, UCD and TCD felt impelled to act and set out how we could advance the nurturing of that ingenuity.

The Innovation Alliance has two major components

A UCD/TCD Joint Venture in Enterprise Development will build on the considerable success of NovaUCD and its TCD counterpart. A key objective is to ensure that the State’s investment in science, technology and innovation is used efficiently and with maximum impact on enterprise development and job creation.  It will include new facilities for pre-competitive research and design, prototyping and process innovation, to help harness and commercialise new ideas, knowledge and inventions. It will also prioritise the establishment of a wider support framework of educational, legal, financial, technical, management and marketing capabilities and the support needed to set good new business ideas on their way.

The new 4th level UCD/TCD Innovation Academy will begin the process of defining and mainstreaming innovation as the 3rd arm of the university mission alongside education and research. It will straddle the existing campuses, building on areas of combined strength and individual distinctiveness in the two universities. It will focus particularly on 4th level PhD training, positioning innovation centre-stage in their courses, facilitating student mobility between campuses, and ensuring that the breadth and depth of expertise and resources at UCD and TCD are available to Ireland’s future entrepreneurs.

The Alliance envisages building a world-class enterprise corridor between UCD and TCD that will be home for up to 300 new enterprises with advanced technology centres to support indigenous industry. It will be a prototype for a national ecosystem to establish Ireland as an international hub for innovation. It will be similar in concept to the IFSC but focused on the creation and scaling-up of indigenous knowledge and technology-intensive enterprises and the attraction of multinational employers that will become the cornerstone for the knowledge economy.

A key objective of the Alliance will be to ensure that the State’s investment in science, technology and innovation is used efficiently and with maximum impact on enterprise development and job creation.

The creation of lasting jobs is the only solution for Ireland. We want to boost the university contribution to enterprise development by equipping graduates with the skills and ambition to be job creators rather than job seekers. The Alliance builds on the tradition of collaboration and achievement by the two institutions but marks a sea-change in how education and research sets up to create jobs. It also puts in place a focus and capability to respond to initiatives proposed by the Government’s newly announced Innovation Task Force, which will in time attract industry, nationally and internationally, and the investment community.

NovaUCD as the Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre at UCD will be at the forefront in establishing this new Innovation Alliance. The results contained in this Report demonstrate that NovaUCD has established itself as a national leader in the commercialisation of research and the development of new high-tech enterprises and that it has developed a strong international reputation.