Unlocking competitiveness through innovation – third level research could hold the key

Alison Campbell, Knowledge Transfer Ireland
Alison Campbell, Knowledge Transfer Ireland

Knowledge Transfer Impact Awards opens for submissions



30 June 2021 | 0

In association with Knowledge Transfer Ireland

Recent data tells us that companies that innovate outperform those that don’t, but sometimes innovating your business can feel beyond reach as it might require human and financial resources that just aren’t available.  

A real and attractive means of building innovation for business is through working with researchers and their extended teams, based across Ireland’s third level sector.  There is a wealth of expertise available in universities, institutes of technology – and through the research and technology centres and technology gateways – that work with these higher education institutions.




Alison Campbell, director at KTI says: “Our universities and institutes of technology house a tremendous amount of specialised knowledge and expertise, as well as offering companies access to various facilities and equipment that might not otherwise be available to them. These are fantastic resources that bring real benefits to the collaborative process with different businesses.”

There is also a significant amount of funding available to support companies seeking to tap into these resources. From Enterprise Ireland innovation vouchers of €5,000 to fund specific research related projects to significantly more substantial funding available through programmes such as the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund or the EU research and innovation funding programme, Horizon Europe, valued at €95.5 billion.   

For those seeking to tap into this resource, the Knowledge Transfer Ireland website serves as an excellent starting point.  Here you will find various tools that will help signpost and direct you to the right research partner or to the right kind of funding for your activity or project.

It is clear that companies in Ireland are increasingly recognising and availing of these opportunitiesLatest figures show there were more than 2,000 engagements live between companies and the Irish third level sector- a significant jump on the same figure for 2017, which was 1,324. There are more and more real examples of business enjoying success as a direct result of having worked with public research, many of which are published by KTI and given recognition through the KTI annual impact awards. 

“In the last few years, I have been really impressed with the outcomes and results that businesses and researchers have achieved by joining forces; some very innovative products and services have resulted that have delivered some very real benefits to those involved and beyond” Campbell added.

This week, KTI opened its annual call for submissions from technology transfer offices to its Knowledge Transfer Impact Awards that recognise success in the area of research commercialisation and engagement between third level and business. In particular, these awards pay tribute to examples of companies having worked together with third level to deliver real benefit to their business through collaborative or consultative research; companies being founded on or “spinning out” from third level research and achieving real success or reaching a particular milestone; and licences that may have been granted from universities or institutes of technology, to deliver real and tangible results in the form of an improved process or product on the market.

For more information on how you can connect with third level research visit www.knowledgetransferireland.com where you can also download your copy of the National Directory of Research & Innovation Supports for Enterprise and read more about some of the businesses that have achieved real impact and achievements by engaging with public research.

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