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Re-engineering incentives in the Irish Economy toward research and innovation

January 11, 2010 Leave a comment

There was an interesting article by Pat McArdle in the Irish Times on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2009.

In the article, he notes in passing that the OECD described Ireland as having ‘…the most property-friendly tax system in the world’. This comes as no surprise to those of us living here, but points to an important point made in books such as ‘Nudge’ – people respond to incentives. And in respect of property, it is a rational investment given the incentives available, but it can and has gone terribly wrong.

If it is possible to incentivise investment in fixed assets such as property, surely it must be possible to use the tax system to allow people to create new asset classes that are tradeable and saleable, via investment in research, development and innovation (RDI)?

Access to venture capital and associated business development skills is a recognised rate-limiting step for Irish RDI being translated into a business proposition that will generate wealth, employment and new products. Incentivising personal investment in RDI developments through the tax system should be possible, and must be more desirable than incentivising investment in property.

Wouldn’t it be great to have the OECD praise Ireland for having the most RDI-friendly economy in the World?

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

January 7, 2010 Leave a comment

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.

Read more…