Prof Brian Fitzgerald, Lero

Lero research centre returns more than €500m to economy – report

Kemmy Business School study tracked financial performance from 2005-2018
Prof Brian Fitzgerald, Lero

17 January 2019

A report by the Kemmy Business School at University of Limerick has found that that every €1 invested by the state and industry in software research centre Lero generated more than five times the value to the economy.

The study was funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) as well as by contracts from Irish and international technology corporations.

The report found that for the period 2005-2018, every €1 invested by public funding agencies and industry partners in Lero contributed €5.25 to the Irish economy on average. This represents a contribution by Lero to national gross output of over €515 million during this period.

In addition, the report found that Lero’s economic activity has contributed to the creation of 2,678 jobs nationally.

“In summary, the report finds that Lero has made a significant economic contribution to the Irish economy,” said Prof Helena Lenihan, economist at the Kemmy Business School and co-author of the report.

“There is little doubt that Lero provides other benefits such as boosting software knowledge and positioning Ireland as a key part of the State infrastructure which attracts foreign direct investment and supports local industry. However, this report focuses solely on the ripple effects of Lero’s expenditure in the economy, which shows a strong knock-on economic impact.”

Based at University of Limerick, Lero is home to more than 200 researchers across all seven Irish universities and two Institutes of Technology. Its research covers a wide range of software development from driverless cars and automation to artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

“Education and research are vital for national competitiveness and for wider economic prosperity,” said Prof Brian Fitzgerald, director, Lero (pictured). “The Kemmy Report demonstrates that Lero has had a positive impact on the Irish economy, which is a tribute to the work of Lero research teams across the country.

“As well as its economic impact, Lero compares highly favourably with similar research centres internationally. A bibliometric analysis shows that Lero research is cited 96% more times than the expected norm for the field. Thirty-one per cent of Lero research is published in the Top 10 percentile of most cited journals in the field; and 21% of Lero research is in the top 10 percentile of most cited papers in the sector.”

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