O ’Keeffe announces 50 jobs in financial services software firm, Sept 17, 2010. L - R: Peter Marshall, Managing Director Fi-Tek, Batt O'Keeffe TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Barry O'Leary, Chief Executive IDA Ireland. |
Innovation Ireland: The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Batt O’Keeffe TD, today told the new group drawing up an action plan for public
investment in research to focus on the creation of new high-quality jobs
and to set aside sectoral interests.
The group headed by Intel Ireland’s former general
manager, Jim O’Hara, is the fourth advisory group or taskforce to have been
established since December 2008 to advise on the floundering 'smart economy'
Last May, O'Keefe said he would 'lead the drive'
to create 117,000 net new Irish jobs in innovation over the next 10 years by
implementing the report of
the Innovation Taskforce.
The Minister himself has no business experience,
never mind any exposure to innovation; most of the May announced group were
drawn from the Innovation Taskforce which published a flawed report last March,
that guessed between 117,000 and 235,000 jobs could be created in the high
technology and biotech sectors over the coming decade. The targets are fanciful
and are extrapolated from the experience of America's Silicon Valley where a
tech company has a 25% chance to survive 7 years and where the biotech industry
made its first profit after 42 years, in 2008 -- the 3 biggest firms were
responsible for the lion's share of the earnings.
O’Keeffe said today economic recovery and
high-quality jobs must be at the heart of the strategic consideration
The latest group is working on a five-year
prioritisation plan for Government investment in research.
It will identify up to 20 target areas on which the Government should focus
its allocation of public funding for research and development.
Minister asked the group to complete its work within 12 months
with an action plan for each priority area setting out specific goals over
He wants the group to focus on areas that will yield the
best return for taxpayers’ investment in research and, ultimately, create
Investment in research and development underpins indigenous industry and
strengthens our foreign-owned multinational corporation base, O'Keeffe said.
He added that in two years, the number of IDA Ireland investment wins with a research and
development component has gone from 10% to 49%.
This is a claim that should be viewed with caution as the R&D element
could be a minor issue for window-dressing in a project.
O'Keeffe said: "We are investing €600m annually in research and development to
drive new levels of innovation, competitiveness and job growth.
"The steering group’s work is a major national exercise of structured
stakeholder engagement aimed at setting out where best to focus our work
and tailor our investment."
The steering group draws on national and international expertise in the
private and public sectors, as well as senior Government officials.
O’Keeffe asked that international experts who have completed similar
exercises in other countries to help the steering group.
Better late than never but now examining what should be done years after a
strategy has been funded, suggests as Finfacts has highlighted since 2006,
that the Government risked spending billions of tax funds with little to show
University research will never be the engine of jobs growth despite the
aspirations of vested interests in the universities and amateur