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Research & Innovation

More Irish companies use academic research to grow their business
Minister Bruton launches Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) annual report

Launching Knowledge Transfer Ireland’s annual report are (l-r): Dr. Alison Campbell, Director KTI, Tom Boland, CEO Higher Education Authority and Richard Bruton T.D. Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation.

There was a 46% increase in the number of companies in Ireland engaging with State-funded research performing organisations (RPOs) to access research to grow their business in 2014 according to figures published in the Knowledge Transfer Ireland Annual Report and Annual Knowledge Transfer Survey.

The increased levels of engagement led to 2,337 agreements between companies and State-funded RPOs.

The report also shows that 27 new spin-out companies were created based on intellectual property and knowledge from Irish RPOs. Over the same period the number of IP-based transactions between RPOs and industry, including licences, options and assignments, increased by 21% to 168.

Amongst these were a licence from UCC to Alimentary Health which led to the creation of a new precision biotic product called Alflorex and a new cheese product was developed at Teagasc Moorepark in collaboration with Tipperary Co-Op and Ornua under the Kerrygold brand.

“The increasing levels of engagement between industry and research organisations is most encouraging and reflects the efforts of the entire technology transfer system in Ireland which we must remember is still quite young,” said Dr. Alison Campbell, KTI Director.

“Since the State began investing in a technology transfer infrastructure in 2007 there has been a relentless focus on ensuring that companies are aware of the valuable resources and intellectual property emerging from Irish RPOs which can contribute to their growth plans. These results prove that the effort is paying off.”

KTI was launched in May 2014 and is operated in partnership between Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Universities Association. Amongst its activities is the operation of a unique resource for industry, the KTI web portal (, which provides companies with easy access to the resources available to them from State-funded research.

KTI’s annual report incorporates results from its Annual Knowledge Transfer Survey (AKTS) which tracks business engagement and commercialisation activity between business and Ireland’s State-funded RPOs for 2014 and which may be downloaded from the KTI website.

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