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News : Innovation Last Updated: Mar 23, 2015 - 4:12 AM

Innovation Index: Ireland behind Portugal in business funding of academic research
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Aug 12, 2013 - 10:27 AM

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Innovation Index: Ireland ranks at the bottom of a ranking of 30 countries behind Portugal for the value of business funding of academic research.

This year was the target year set in 2006 for Ireland to be recognised as a "world-class knowledge economy" and following a report last month by Finfacts that patent applications in 2012 fell below the 2011 level -- to lows for the second straight year not seen since the early 1980s, it's only time for delusional policy makers and their eco-system to accept the reality that the current science policy that is the basis of the flagship enterprise policy, is not working.

Ahead of its World Academic Summit in Singapore in October, the study by the London-based Times Higher Education magazine, which will discuss the relationship between big business and universities, shows that companies are investing the equivalent of  €75,000 (£62,780; $97,900) in each researcher in the South Korea to carry out work in innovation and research on their behalf.

Singapore is in second place, bringing in an average of €64,000 (£54,462; $84,500) per academic, with the Netherlands in third  €55,000 (£46,921; $72,800). The US lies in 14th position, with industry contributing nearly four times less to its academic researchers (£16,628 or $25,800 per person) than in Korea, according to the index, which is based on data from the world’s top 400 universities as assessed by The World University Rankings compiled with Thomson Reuters data.

The UK is in just 26th place, attracting  €10,000 (£8,572; $13,300) per researcher from industry.

At the very bottom, Irish academics get an average of just over €6,000 (£5,200;  $8,300) from business, meaning Irish-based researchers are valued as much as ten times less than top-ranking countries.

Phil Baty, editor of The World University Rankings, said: “That South Korea and Singapore are the top two countries listed in this new table, with other Asian nations like Taiwan, China and India all making the top ten will be a shocking wake-up call for the West.”

Lord Bhattacharyya, chairman and founder of WMG, which receives about £120m a year from private companies such as Jaguar Land Rover to do research at the University of Warwick, said the data underlined Britain’s “patchy” record for cooperation between business and universities.

Not enough British companies had invested in universities, while higher education had not made itself attractive enough to firms, he said.

The low value the dominant foreign-owned and big indigenous firms in Ireland put on academic research, was illustrated in June when the Irish Government announced a €50m joint industry research project in Cork. The Government will fund €36m directly and a further investment of €14m from industry, for research at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC), Cork designating it as "a national centre for food and medicine research excellence." Including the 25% R&D tax credit, the State will be responsible for at least 79% of the cost.

Finfacts, Aug 2013 Update: Irish Innovation: Evidence of science policy failure mounts

Other articles:

Irish Science Policy: 2020 replaces 2013 as target to be 'best country in...world for scientific research'

Perrigo's Elan buy is another blow to Ireland's knowledge economy project

Irish Economy: Ireland's level of early stage entrepreneurial activity plunges


Rank Country Average Value Per Researcher (US$)
1 Korea, Republic Of 97,900
2 Singapore 84,500
3 Netherlands 72,800
4 South Africa 64,400
5 Belgium 63,700
6 Taiwan 53,900
7 China 50,500
8 Sweden 46,100
9 Denmark 43,600
10 India 36,900
11 Russian Federation 36,400
12 Turkey 31,000
13 Canada 27,200
14 United States 25,800
15 Australia 25,600
16 Japan 24,900
17 Finland 24,500
18 New Zealand 22,300
19 France 21,000
20 Hong Kong 20,000
21 Germany 19,400
22 Switzerland 17,600
23 Brazil 14,900
24 Italy 14,400
25 Israel 13,600
26 United Kingdom 13,300
27 Austria 11,300
28 Norway 9,100
29 Portugal 8,600
30 Ireland 8,300

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