NovaUCD 2010 Report


The Innovation Union, published by the European Commission in October 2010, is a flagship initiative of the European Union’s 2020 Strategy. It highlights the need for a sea change in the post-crisis world. It accepts that Europe must move away from business as usual and make innovation its overarching policy objective. In effect it places innovation at the centre of Europe’s economic strategy. 

The Innovation Union comprises 34 wide-ranging commitments including those aimed at facilitating effective collaborative research and knowledge transfer (KT), developing KT offices, increasing recognition of KT professionals and the introduction of the financial instruments to facilitate the establishment and growth of knowledge intensive ventures. 


Many of these commitments are being increasingly enshrined in the national strategies of member states including Ireland. Funding for university research in Ireland has quadrupled in the last decade and, in line with best international practice and for the first time, significant support has also been provided to strengthen technology transfer offices in the higher education sector.

The growing importance of innovation is also reflected in the strategies of universities and other public research organisations. At the heart of Forming Global Minds UCD’s Strategic Plan to 2014 is the drive to develop innovation as the third pillar of the university’s core mission. This strategic plan has three core objectives for innovation which are to:

These objectives are reflected in NovaUCD’s priorities in relation to technology transfer, enterprise development, continuing professional development, communications and the fostering of strategic partnerships with industry.

The increasing funding for collaborative research, together with the strengthening of UCD’s innovation strategy, has enabled NovaUCD to significantly increase the level of knowledge transfer and commercialisaiton of UCD research mainly through licensing to new and established ventures and the establishment of campus companies.

In consultation with the NovaUCD sponsors, new procedures have been introduced to enable NovaUCD to attract stronger spin-in companies, thereby strengthening its community of entrepreneurs.  In the last year eight exciting spin-in companies have located at NovaUCD, with promoters from established high-tech companies. 

The acquisition of major new facilities for second stage companies is nearing completion and this will enable NovaUCD ‘graduate’ companies to locate adjacent to the campus and to build partnerships with UCD. The development of such long-term strategic partnerships will facilitate new opportunities for collaborative research and commercialisation.  

It is now seven years since NovaUCD officially opened. While it is recognised that there is a long lead-time involved in commercialising the results of university research, the significant achievements of UCD in the last number of years justify the faith of the initial sponsors who invested over €11 million in NovaUCD. 

In this 7-year period, 16 new UCD spin-out companies have been incorporated and just under 60 high-tech and knowledge-intensive companies have located at NovaUCD. Total investment and realisations in UCD companies has now reached over $200 million. The increasing strength of the IP pipeline is also encouraging. In the last 7-years alone, over 320 inventions have been disclosed by UCD researchers. In addition, over 100 priority patent applications have been filed and over 70 licence agreements have been signed with a range of indigenous and international companies.   

In 2010 NovaUCD continued to develop its expertise, its comprehensive programmes and its state-of-the-art facilities to support innovators and entrepreneurs in commercialising the output of their research and other knowledge-intensive activities of the university.

Key 2010 achievements include :

During 2010 NovaUCD continued its various initiatives to support researchers and entrepreneurs.

NovaUCD was also involved in a number of international innovation and technology transfer initiatives through organisations such as AURIL, the Institute of Knowledge Transfer and ProTon Europe. These initiatives have enabled NovaUCD to play a leadership role in exchanging best practice, providing advice on KT policies and strategies, increasing the status and recognition of the KT profession and enhancing the contribution of universities to innovation by increasing the efficiency of KT and university/industry collaboration.

Summary Key 2010 Metrics

 Summary Key Metrics Since 2004

These and other developments are outlined further in this Report.

Dr Pat Frain
Director, NovaUCD

To receive a hard copy of the 2010 Report or for further information contact: Micéal Whelan, NovaUCD, t: +353 1 716 3712, e:


NovaUCD_2010_Annual_Report.pdf (1,860 kbs)

NovaUCD_2010_Annual_Report.pdf (print version) (1,283 kbs)