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The Role of PhDs in the Smart Economy – Advisory Science Council – An Comhairle Eolaíochta | www.sciencecouncil.ie

via The Role of PhDs in the Smart Economy – Advisory Science Council – An Comhairle Eolaíochta | www.sciencecouncil.ie.

Sometimes, important documents get less publicity than they deserve:

The Role of PhDs in the Smart Economy
Date:    15 December 2009
Source:    Advisory Science Council

A flow of knowledge and human capital between enterprise, higher education and the public sector is essential to firmly embed enterprise in the knowledge economy and ensure the recent investment in the research infrastructure is leveraged for economic development in the long term. This report examines the skills that businesses require from 4th level Ireland, the roles in enterprise that are filled by PhD graduates and the barriers that prevent their move into enterprise.

Download doc: http://www.sciencecouncil.ie/media/asc091215_role_of_phds.pdf

From the press release:

A new report launched today by the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (ACSTI) has found that Irish R&D firms employing PhD researchers have rates of patenting 2.5 times greater than similarly active firms which do not employ PhD researchers and have vastly higher collaboration rates with both Higher Education Institutes and other firms. While only 29% of R&D active firms employed PhD researchers in 2007, these companies accounted for 70% of business expenditure on R&D. The report, the Role of PhDs in the Smart Economy, highlights Ireland’s need to maintain a competitive output of PhDs in relevant disciplines in line with other developed countries and sets out a list of recommendations to maximise the development of 4th level education in Ireland and its critical relevance to enterprise and society.

Major Recommendations are below the fold.

1. Funding for structured PhD programmes should be broadly aligned with the sectors of the economy where there is a strong demand for PhD qualified researchers.
Responsibility: HEA and HEIs
2. Structured PhD programmes should embody the “Inverted T” shaped model for education and training of PhD students.
Responsibility: HEA and HEIs
3. HEIs should continue to engage with enterprise and should adopt systematic and formal consultation with enterprise in the development of Structured PhD programmes at discipline level within the institutions, ideally with the involvement of enterprise boards to oversee structured programmes, where appropriate.
Responsibility: HEA and HEIs
4. A user-friendly, centralised system should be developed to allow employers or potential employers to access information on the number of PhD students in the pipeline and the broad theme of their research.
Responsibility: HEA
5. The Council strongly endorses the Enterprise Partnership Scheme and recommends that resources are made available to scale up the programme.
Responsibility: HEA and HEIs
6. Ireland should develop an Enterprise PhD programme building on the model of the Danish Industrial PhD programme.
Responsibility: HEA with input from enterprise agencies and HEIs
7. Beginning with the PhD education and training period and continuing through to early postdoctoral research stage there should be an integrated programme of support and training specifically targeted at PhD students and early postdoctoral researchers to enable them to commercialise their research.
Responsibility: Technology Transfer Offices and Enterprise Ireland

Press release: http://www.sciencecouncil.ie/media/asc091215_role_of_phds_press_release.pdf

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