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The Innovation Alliance

The Innovation Alliance is a partnership working with the education sector, the State and its agencies alongside the business and venture capital communities to develop a world-class ecosystem for innovation that will drive enterprise development in Ireland.

By forming the Innovation Alliance, the universities recognise a need to evolve and play a powerful role within such an ecosystem.

TCD Provost Dr John Hegarty and UCD President Dr Hugh Brady have stated that “this is a time of national crisis. Evidence shows that during recession, innovation thrives. New realities bring with them new opportunities. The Government’s Smart Economy framework pinpointed the ingenuity of our people as the way forward for the country. In that context, as institutions with a relevant responsibility, we felt impelled to act and set out how we could advance the nurturing of that ingenuity”.

  • The Innovation Alliance

    A partnership between Trinity College Dublin & University College Dublin, Ireland's leading universities

    The Innovation Alliance is a partnership working with the education sector, the State and its agencies alongside the business and venture capital communities to develop a world-class ecosystem for innovation that will drive enterprise development in Ireland.

    By forming the Innovation Alliance, the universities recognise a need to evolve and play a powerful role within such an ecosystem.

    TCD Provost Dr John Hegarty and UCD President Dr Hugh Brady have stated that “this is a time of national crisis. Evidence shows that during recession, innovation thrives. New realities bring with them new opportunities. The Government’s Smart Economy framework pinpointed the ingenuity of our people as the way forward for the country. In that context, as institutions with a relevant responsibility, we felt impelled to act and set out how we could advance the nurturing of that ingenuity”.

  • Ireland’s Smart Economy

    Ireland’s top two universities play a leadership role in delivering the Smart Economy

    When the Irish Government published ‘Building Ireland’s Smart Economy: a Framework for Sustainable Economic Renewal’ it set out a strategy for medium-term economic recovery based around the concept of the Smart Economy.

    A Smart Economy combines the successful elements of the enterprise economy and the innovation or ‘ideas’ economy, while promoting a high-quality environment, improving energy security and promoting social cohesion.

    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 Taskforce has examined options to increase levels of innovation and the 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).

    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.

    In its report, the Innovation Taskforce acknowledged the Innovation Alliance and endorsed it as a model to be rolled out nationally.

  • Innovation Ecosystem

    Creating an infrastructural and cultural environment where innovation and entrepreneurship thrive

    The Innovation Ecosystem has two major components:

    The Joint Venture in Enterprise Development builds on the universities’ existing technology transfer operations and enterprise facilities. It includes facilities for pre-competitive research and design, prototyping and process innovation - to help harness and commercialise new ideas, knowledge and inventions. It prioritises the establishment of a wider support framework of educational, legal, financial, technical, management and marketing capabilities and supports needed to set good new business ideas on their way.

    The 4th level Innovation Academy mainstreams innovation as the 3rd arm of the university mission alongside education and research. It straddles the existing campuses, building on areas of combined strength and individual distinctiveness in the two universities. It focuses particularly on 4th level PhD training, positioning innovation centre-stage in courses, facilitating student mobility between campuses, and ensuring that the breadth and depth of expertise and resources at UCD and TCD are available to Ireland’s future entrepreneurs.

    The Alliance Partners are committed to planning and advancing complementary research infrastructures in the institutions, aligned to the evolving needs of Ireland's innovation ecosystem.


    - TCD Biosciences Development
    - UCD Campus Development

  • Research and Innovation

    Fusing our research abilities, expertise and resources to stimulate early-stage enterprise development

    Combining the research strategies of Ireland’s two leading universities presents us with the ability and opportunity to forge ahead in areas where we truly believe we can make a difference to the world. Through major interdisciplinary and thematic institutes, researchers and scholars here in Dublin can link nationally and internationally, building on a cornerstone of interdisciplinarity to deliver research of global consequence.

    Through the Innovation Alliance the universities support the transformation of research into high-tech and knowledge-intensive companies, creating an ecosystem for others to join.

    UCD and TCD have together with their partners established Ireland's foremost applied research technology centres, including the National Digital Research Centre, the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training, Molecular Medicine Ireland and Technology Research for Independent Living.

    TCD Research Institutes include: Centre for Telecommunications and Value Chain Research; Institute of Molecular Medicine; Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience; Institute for International Integration Studies; Trinity Long Room Hub; Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices.

    UCD Research Institutes include: Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology; Complex & Adaptive Systems Laboratory; Conway Institute; Earth Sciences Institute; Geary Institute; Humanities Institute of Ireland; Institute of Food & Health; Urban Institute of Ireland.

    The UCD-TCD incubator units are home to more than 50 new companies. In 2009, UCD and TCD spun out 15 companies and currently have contracts with more than 300 multinational and indigenous companies. Ninety-eight patent applications, including 47 priority, 31 PCT (patent co-operation treaty) and 20 national/regional applications were also filed by UCD and TCD during 2009.

    The two universities have 2,000 advanced science and engineering postgraduate students in training who will be the entrepreneurs and innovators of Ireland's knowledge economy.

  • Innovation Academy

    The educational centrepiece of the Innovation Alliance generating a new breed of graduate

    The Innovation Academy is the educational centrepiece of the Innovation Alliance. The Academy is a collaborative joint venture in PhD education that builds on existing resources and synergies between the two institutions and recognises the need for higher education to be a catalyst for innovation in Ireland.

    The mission of the Academy is to develop a new breed of creative graduate, expert in their discipline, but with a thorough understanding of how innovation can rapidly convert knowledge, ideas and inventions into products, services and policies for economic and social benefit. All of them will be trained to recognise the innovation potential of blue skies research, while some of them will become entrepreneurs. Innovation is regarded in its broadest sense of exploiting new ideas in a competitive world; not restricted to science, engineering, technology and business, but encompassing the creativity, leadership, cultural and policy innovation of arts and humanities.

SHOWCASE
Havok Logo

Havok

Emmy Award winning Irish technology company Havok is the leading provider of interactive software and services to the global game and movie industries.

Founded in 1998 as a campus company in Trinity College Dublin, Havok’s pioneering technology makes visual effects in today’s top selling games and movies more realistic and interactive than ever before.




changingworlds logo

ChangingWorlds

Ask any marketer where the current wave of action is coming from and you’ll quickly learn that it’s all up close and personal.

So, when UCD researchers developed the award-winning ClixSmart personalisation engine, they quickly realised the commercial potential of their suite of inventions and soon their spin-out company, ChangingWorlds, was on the “must watch” list among the mobile portal providers.


Opsona Therapeutics Logo

Opsona Therapeutics

Switching on the immune system is the job of “toll-like receptors” (TLR). Since their discovery in the mid-1990s, these rapid defensive response triggers have become a focus of attention for researchers working on therapies for auto-immune and inflammatory diseases.

Since its creation in 2004, Opsona, a TCD spin-out company, has focused on certain TLR targets with a view to discovering new chemical entities and biologics for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

BiancaMed logo

BiancaMed

Over 60 million people in Europe and the US are estimated to have sleep disordered breathing such as apnoea. Many of those with sleep disorders are unaware they have the condition and as a result around 85% of sufferers are currently undiagnosed.

The UCD spin-out, medical technology company, BiancaMed, is making commercial break-throughs and attracting serious investors for its range of devices covering monitored breathing situations such as sleep, exercise and baby monitoring in clinical and home locations.

INNOVATION ALLIANCE KEY RESEARCH DIRECTORY
INNOVATION ACADEMY

The Innovation Academy is the educational centrepiece of the Innovation Alliance. The Academy is a collaborative joint venture in PhD education that builds on existing resources and synergies between the two institutions and recognises the need for higher education to be a catalyst for innovation in Ireland.

The mission of the Academy is to develop a new breed of creative graduate, expert in their discipline, but with a thorough understanding of how innovation can rapidly convert knowledge, ideas and inventions into products, services and policies for economic and social benefit. All of them will be trained to recognise the innovation potential of blue skies research, while some of them will become entrepreneurs. Innovation is regarded in its broadest sense of exploiting new ideas in a competitive world; not restricted to science, engineering, technology and business, but encompassing the creativity, leadership, cultural and policy innovation of arts and humanities.

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