1. Research Knowledge Base
  2. Innovation and entrepreneurship

Baseline Survey of Commercialisation Staff & Skills in Major R&D Performing Institutions in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Working Paper

Published: May 2002


Commercialisation can be defined as the process by which research outputs are converted to commercial usage or ownership. Ensuring an efficient process of commercialisation has a high relevance at the moment. In the Republic of Ireland there has been major national investment in R&D in universities, institutes of technology, and research institutions. In Northern Ireland, the already significant R&D budget has also been increased.  A major rationale for this R&D investment is that the output will be of benefit to the economy. For instance in relation to one
sector, ‘successful commercialisation of biotechnology research must be an integral component within the biotechnology and life sciences national strategy’, according to Enterprise Ireland’s policy document Towards a Biotech-Ireland (2002). This benefit can be realized in several possible ways:
  • by providing a supply of skills and expertise to support priority economic sectors;
  • by creating technologies of relevance to existing industry; and/or
  • by creating technologies which will become the basis of new companies.

However, while investment in R&D performance and facilities will create technology, ensuring its commercialisation (i.e. its successful transfer to industry) requires a different set of skills and resources. A critical layer of such expertise are the staff who liaise between the research performers (particularly the HE sector) and technology users.

It is generally accepted that further investment is required in this expertise. This investment will take the form of additional staff resources, funding of patenting, and training and support services. The purpose of this baseline survey is to more precisely define the current status of commercialisation staff, skills, budget and other supports within relevant institutions across the island of Ireland.