Minister Halligan announces €34.5M in funding for the Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative

  • New phase will strengthen the knowledge transfer system in Ireland
  • Funding programme will simplify the process of engagement for industry with public research

Enterprise Ireland has approved the third phase of its Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative (TTSI) which serves to bolster the capability within the knowledge transfer system in Ireland. This phase of the programme will see €34.5m invested over five years to further embed the transfer of knowledge from within the public research system to industry in Ireland and vice versa.  It will also help sustain capacity to support the process of knowledge transfer and commercialisation of research from Irish research performing organisations (RPOs) around the country.  

The programme, first introduced back in 2007 by Enterprise Ireland, is managed and administered by Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI).  It allocates funding across eight consortia comprising 26 research performing organisations that include Universities, Institutes of Technology and state research bodies. The programme provides funding to the technology transfer offices (TTOs) that support these institutions around the country and it catalyses development of the knowledge transfer profession and the work it does.  In doing so, the programme acts as an accelerator for commercialisation of research that would not otherwise be possible.

As a result of the programme to date, latest annual figures show;

  • 748 research agreements signed
  • 31 Spin-Out companies created
  • 206 Licensing Agreements signed

TTSI Launch 2

Minister for Skills, Education and Innovation John Halligan TD, Enterprise Ireland Divisional Manager for Research & Innovation, Gearóid Mooney and Director of Knowledge Transfer Ireland, Alison Campbell. (l to r).

Phase three of the programme runs from 2017 – 2021 and provides sustainability for the technology transfer offices.  It enables an interface of skilled and experienced people within RPOs whose job it is to work with industry. The TTOs support industry engagement across areas such as research collaboration, consultancy, licensing of new technologies and the creation of new spin-out companies.  The TTSI funding ensures the ongoing commercialisation of publicly funded research with a focus on quality over quantity, including the development of richer and more attractive industry-investor IP portfolios. 

Commenting on the announcement, Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD said, “One of the key objectives of my Department is supporting more companies to engage in research and innovation activities –turning good ideas into innovative products and services and ultimately jobs.  This investment in the technology transfer system under the next phase of the TTSI programme will serve this objective by making it easier for companies to access the knowledge and expertise available within our research performing organisations. Today’s announcement is also further evidence of the Government’s commitment to meet ambitious targets set in Innovation 2020, our strategy for research, development, science and technology.  We want to become a global innovation leader and with the highest number in the world per capita of globally accredited Registered Technology Transfer Professionals (RTTPs) in our RPOs, we are making great progress to achieve this objective.”

According to Gearoid Mooney, Enterprise Ireland Divisional Manager for Research & Innovation, “Enterprise Ireland’s annual client survey shows that companies that collaborate with the Irish research system on market led projects have more than double the sales and exports than those that don’t.Helping companies advance through research and innovation is fundamental to the support provided by Enterprise Ireland and Knowledge Transfer Ireland has been tasked with making it simple for such companies to engage and benefit from state funded research. Investing in the knowledge transfer infrastructure through technology transfer offices around the country is vital to progressing the commercialisation of research, job creation and economic prosperity.”

Alison Campbell, Director of KTI said; “I am very pleased that the TTSI programme has been approved for a further five years.  Ireland has made tremendous strides in the area of knowledge transfer and technology transfer and the TTSI funding to date has been instrumental in that success.  This round of funding will build on this success and help deliver stronger resources in the field. With support now in place until 2021, I am confident we can further develop the process of research commercialisation and work with our partners in industry to make it as simple and accessible as possible.