In June 2009 the Taoiseach, Mr, Brian Cowen T. D. appointed the Innovation Taskforce to advise the Government on its strategy for positioning Ireland as an International Innovation Development Hub and to assist in making the Smart Economy a reality.
The Government’s strategy for the Smart Economy ‘Building Ireland’s Smart Economy: a Framework for Sustainable Economic Renewal’ was published in December 2008. The Taskforce examined a wide range of options aimed at increasing levels of innovation and rates of commercialisation of research and development on a national basis, with a view to accelerating the growth of indigenous enterprise and to attract new knowledge-intensive direct investment, building on the existing Government Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (SSTI).
This is reflected in the Terms of Reference of the Taskforce.
The Taskforce was chaired by Mr. Dermot McCarthy, Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach. Membership of the Taskforce included representatives from the private sector, Third Level Education and relevant Government Departments and Agencies. The Taskforce submitted its report to Government in March 2010.
Given the large Agenda facing the Group, the relatively limited reporting timeframe and the significant expertise and experience of members, it was decided that the best way to progress the Terms of Reference was through the establishment of a number of focussed Working Groups, to consider certain aspects of the Work Programme. These Groups were tasked with developing proposals for consideration by the group as a whole at plenary meetings and incorporated into the final Report
Group 1: Incentives, intellectual property and venture capital: identifying measures to increase innovation, commercialisation and entrepreneurship including changes to incentives, venture capital arrangements and IP strategies
Group 2: Commercialisation, technology transfer and converging technologies including examining institutional structures for R&D funding delivery, how to maximise commercialisation of research, increase technology transfer and promote innovation in converging technologies
Group 3: Achieving the Innovation Island - how to position and promote Ireland as the innovation island including attracting entrepreneurs, FDI, international start-ups and private sector R & D investment.
Group 4: International Innovation Development Hub (Dublin): supporting the development of the TCD-UCD Alliance including identifying necessary supporting policy measures.