The need for an Open Innovation Model to drive economic development in the South East

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Nov 12, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)


The need for an Open Innovation Model

drive economic development in the South

to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation
by Dr
Willie Donnelly, Head of Research & Innovation / Director of TSSG, Waterford Institute
of Technology

June 18


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The need for an Open Innovation Model to drive economic development in the South East






How can we build com
petitive advantage through research & innovation?



How do we contribute to creating and assisting indigenous business to grow?


How can we impact on attracting and sustaining FDI in the South East?



How do we align skills provision with enterprise needs now and into the future?



Can we contribute to supporting employment at community and local level?






Appendix A: An Overview of Research & Innovation at WIT



Appendix B: Economic Importance of Health Care to the South East



Appendix C: Regional Innovation & Competitiveness



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The ne
ed for an Open Innovation
odel to drive economic
development in the South East


Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) very much welcomes
invitation to attend the Joint
Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and to
contribute to the development of
the South East Economic Development Strategy Report. The responsibility of the Institute to the
South East Region is central to its identity and strategic focus.

Economic growth is increasingly related to the capacity of
regional economies to change and
innovate. Regions and cities have become the primary spatial units where knowledge is transferred,
innovation systems are built and competition to attract investments and talents takes place. The EU
Innovation Union Flagshi
p emphasises the smart specialisation of regions as key to future

The economic development of the South East requires investment into
research and

, the creation of human capital and the enticement of genius
expertise into the
South East R
egion. Strategies are required to drive investment in indigenous
enterprise, attracting of relevant foreign direct investment (FDI), the commercialisation of research
and the professionalising of manufacturing and service
s across a range of sectors. The challenge to
support the growth, development and sustainability of the South East is to mesh these activities
together so that there is mutual gain and advancement in a cohesive, co
ordinated, collaborative
manner. What is
required is to build an ecosystem of open innovation.

Fragmentation of effort can be overcome by bringing the stakeholders together to develop and
implement an integrated strategy for the economic development in the
egion and


plan to attract

the best scientists, engineers
, professionals
and entrepreneurs to the
egion which
will in turn

attract multinational industries and high potential start


plays a pivotal role as a catalyst for regional, cultural and economic development through
innovation of its research and the creation of an effective knowledge transfer framework. WIT has a
proven record of research activity and considerable experience of translating this into benefits for
society and the economy. Over the last 12 years, th
e Institute has secured through competitive
on a national and European level
in excess of €112 million in external research funding. The
guiding principle
in the



WIT’s research environment has been the prioritisation of its
activities in critical areas (most notably ICT / mobile

networks and

services and
pharmaceutical science) which are capable of achieving the highest international standards and
which can have a significant impact on national and regional economic development.

In particular WIT through the T
oftware and Sy
stems Group (TSS

/ ArcLabs
Centre embodies the Institute’s stated research philosophy of driving regional economic

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development through our global repu
ation for research and innovation excellence through the
creation of an integrated environme
nt where entrepreneurs, business start


are co

World renowned researchers in Regional Innovation Systems state that in order to build sustainable
innovative regions it is necessary to embrace and develop
innovative lab
our markets

and to continue
this situation into the future. These international experts also state that there is a need to develop
attractive conditions to entice innovative migrants
for institutions to be prepared to reproduce
highly innovative labour

based on their own capacities. WIT through TSSG/ArcLabs has already
started the process of creating and successfully using an innovative labour market. We have started
the momentum, we need to build on this momentum and expand the scope and boundaries of
TSSG/ArcLabs ecosystem of open innovation in order to
reproduce highly innovative labour

support the sustainability of the South East as a vibrant, economically stable, innovative region.

How can we build competitive advantage through research & i

Sustainable economic growth is increasingly related to the capacity of regional economies to change
and to innovate. This means that a much greater effort needs to be put into creating an environment
that promotes research

innovation and develo
pment delivering high quality sustainable economic
Further strengthening and investment in the research and innovation infrastructure and
capacity within the South East Region is critical to its future.
Particular focus must be given to those
rs which have the potential for regional economic growth particularly the sectors of ICT,
biopharmaceuticals and advanced manufacturing. The South East Region must also leverage its
natural resources
maximising opportunities for growth in agriculture and t
ourism and planning for
associated new industries such as ICT for agriculture, Eco


ICT for tourism.

WIT’s research strategy promotes strategic orientated research focusing on those areas of economic
importance for the Region. The prioritised

areas of ICT (mobile networks and services) and
pharmaceutical and molecular biotechnology research have developed into large
scale research
centres of international reputation and with a strong interdisciplinary focus. The Institute recognises
the region
al opportunities in agriculture and new sustainable product and services (Eco
WIT is providing national leadership in the areas of ICT for agriculture


and ICT for
Health Care Services
in partnership with regional stakeholders.

Of particular note is the Institute’s TSSG / ArcLabs open innovation model. At the core of the model
is the traditional academic focus on internationally peer reviewed scientific research and
postgraduate education. However
through extensive collaboration
with enterprise and industry
the model
incorporates reference points to the industry state of the art and engineering
challenges confronting the creation of next generation industry solutions. The model has created a
Mobile Services Cluster in the

South East employing over 120 research engineers where previously
no such industry existed. The ArcLabs entrepreneurial development programme (New Frontiers /
South East Enterprise Platform Programme), has created 84 new businesses in the past 6 years wit
a combined turnover of €29 million, €8.5 million in export sales and have generated 249 jobs in the
period in question. The Centre through its collaborative research programmes, enterprise support

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framework and active approach to engagement has transferr
ed know
how and intellectual property
to more than 110 multinational and indigenous enterprises throughout the country in the recent

Intellectual property (IP) generated through the Telecommunications Software & Systems Group
(TSSG) has created 11 sp
in off companies in the South East including Feedhenry wh

announced a €7 million investment by international venture capital firms and the creation of an
additional 100 jobs. The TSSG / ArcLabs model has been replicated in Kilkenny
through coll
with Kilkenny County Council and has

an additional 15 engineering jobs within 9 months.

How do we contribute to creating and assisting indigenous business to

Investments to support SME engagement and networks are a priority of the A
rcLabs open innovation
model. Initiatives that underpin service and support offering for SMEs are key to the ArcLabs

innovation strategy. WIT has a strong track record of engaging with SMEs supported by the
enterprise support and funding agencies.

s supports the concept of a one stop shop for entrepreneurs and indigenous enterprise. The
incorporation of academic researchers, entrepreneurs, high potential start
ups and multinational
industries in a shared network supports an open innovation environme
nt with the free flow of ideas

and transferring IP and know
how into new products and services.

The challenge for the South East is that the majority of indigenous industries and their capacity to
integrate the know
how from the Institute’s research commun
ity is limited. We have overcome this
limitation by customising the IP and know
how generated from our research activities in a way that
is directly applicable to their business or technology challenges. In many cases we have worked with
companies to redes
ign their products and services in line with new technologies and business
opportunities (such as the cloud). The demand for support in the SME sector is high

evidenced by
the fact that WIT has completed more than 240 Enterprise Ireland supported Innovatio
n Voucher
projects with SME companies.

The flow of highly qualified graduates and staff from the research community to indigenous
companies is an important means of enhancing innovative capacity within Irish industry. Ongoing
continuous proactive engagemen
t between academia, enterprise support and research funding
agencies and indigenous industry is essential to ensuring sustainable growth of indigenous industry.

How can we impact on attracting and sustaining FDI in the South East?

Only 8% of FDI is loca
ted in the South East. There is a need for a more strategic approach to
targeting companies for the South East. It is
that the IDA, the regional authority, local
government, industry representatives and the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs)
k together to
ensure that the physical and intellectual infrastructure of the South East is aligned to the needs of
the needs of the targeted sector.

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Three parallel processes that must be adopted to make the
egion attractive to FDI investment are

(i) build a wealth of sought after knowledge of regional specialisms and nuances, (ii) increase the
attractiveness of the Region by creating and continuously developing leading edge research centres,
improving the quality of tertiary education in the Regi
on beyond international standard levels and
providing high

add, interesting jobs and (iii) entering an arrangement with international
partners whereby there is an equitable process of brain exchange.

TSSG / ArcLabs manages an active international net
work consisting of in excess of 450 partners from
industry, academic and research institutes and government agencies spread across 35 countries

How do we align skills provision with enterprise needs now and into the

The South East Region

has a lower than average participation rate in higher education. Only 23% of
the population have a higher education qualification against 36% in Dublin and 29% nationally. It
also has a higher rate of unemployment (19%) than the national average (15%) an
d a higher rate of
underemployment amongst under 25s than the national average. (Census 2013)

WIT has a strong track record in the support of vocational and labour
market oriented edu
cation at
all levels.

Addressing the needs of the unemployed is a critica
l requirement for the economic

and social renewal

of the
The Institute has proactively led initiatives to

the re
skilling and up
skilling of

the un
employed such as in the case of
Waterford Crystal and Talk
Talk employees.


Institute is a major player in the HEA/Department of Education & Skills
sponsored Springboard programme.

Springboard provides people with the opportunity to re
and get back to work, thus contributing to building Ireland’s future.

In particular WIT
has focused on
programmes in

the areas of

ICT, financial services and business information systems,
lean manufacturing, e
Marketing, innovative technologies and entrepreneurship.

With an increased importance in lifelong learning and up
ing the delivery of more flexible part
time courses is increasing in importance including new modes of course delivery using on
learning tools. This is a priority area for the Institute

which requires investment
In addition to its
cohort of more than


full time students,
WIT has registered over

time undergraduate
students and
316 (full
time) and 403 (part

postgraduate students

on masters and Phd level
. Increasingly these

are developed in partnership with regi
stakeholders delivering customised curriculum reflecting their needs. A good example of one such
programme is the part
time masters in communications networks developed in partnership with Sun
Life Financial.

The creation of the Technological Universi
ty of the South
East is a key requirement for the economic
and enhancement of the human capital capacity
of the South

It must deliver new
engagement models bringing together education, technology, research, business and
industry ready
graduates and new innovation models that drive the
economic development of the
egion. The Technological University must conduct its activities

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(teaching, research and innovation) as part of the global community supporting the flow

of people,
ideas and business into
the Region
and IT Carlow have formally affirmed their intention to
apply jointly for designation as a Technological University in accordance with the process set out
the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the M
inister for Education & Skills.

Can we contribute to supporting employment at community and local level?

Immersing the regional community into an evolving entrepreneurial culture is essential. All sectors
of the community including policy makers, entrepren
eurs, business owners, employers, educators
and the youth must embrace the concept of job mobility, brain circulation and labour / skills
circulation. Instead of putting barriers in place to hinder mobility and
free flow of personnel,
stakeholders shou
ld encourage it knowing that the circulation of knowledge, skill and labour is what
is required to build regional wealth and sustainability.


In conclusion there is a need for the development and implementation of an integrated investment
y for the South East Region capable of building an open innovation region. Such a strategy
requires a greater alignment of the role of stakeholders

including government, industry and higher
. The creation of a Technological University is

to the development of the
ve capacity and knowledge base within the South East R
egion. WIT’s research and
innovation model has proven its ability to create real economic growth. Investment is required now
to scale the model across
the Region

erating its economic impact.

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An Overview


Research & Innovation at WIT


is the largest third level education provider in the South East
egion with a learner community
of 7,

time and approximately 1,
00 part
time students

It is worth noting that a significant
numbers of entrants come from non
standard routes including a continuing increase in mature
learners. Over 60% of the

s undergraduate students are registered on bachelor degree
courses. In addition the
tute has
more than 700

students registered as postgraduate students up
to PhD level. An important feature of the
nstitute’s courses is the strong links to industry with the
majority of technical and business courses incorporating a period of placement in


Prioritisation of Research

The Institute has taken a strategic approach to the development of research over the last 10 years.
In particular WIT prioritized three main areas of research for development over the period of the last
strategic plan
: 1. Telecommunications (TSSG) 2. Pharmaceutical
cience & Molecular Biotechnology
(PMBRC) and Eco
nnovation (EIRC) and 3: Health. The Institute has achieved significant success in
winning research funding both from national and EU sources, in forging str
ategic academic and
industry research alliances and in the construction and enhancement of
research Infrastructure


has built strategic research partnerships with world class research centres across Europe, Asia
and the Americas. Over 400 staff members and students are actively involved in research. The
nstitute has
0 Principal Investigators, Research Fellows and Po
stdoctoral Researchers supported
by sponsored research which generates an annual salary budget of
approximately €


(unique in the IOT sector).


has a pivotal role as a catalyst for regional cultural and economic development through the
vation of its research and the creation of an effective knowledge transfer framework. The

s research

is to “
Drive regional economic development through our global
reputation for Research and Innovation Excellence

Competing Nationally

& Internationally

Since 2000 the Institute has won over


in external research funding. This represents
approximately one quarter of all research funding received by the IoT sector as a whole. The
Institute has secured funding from all of the major funding agencies:

Science Foundation Ireland’s Research Frontiers, Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) and


Programmes; It is the only Institute of Technology to lead a SRC industry research

The Higher Education Authority’s Programme for Research in Third level

Institutions (PRTLI)
cycles 3,4 and 5;

The European Commission’s Framework Programme (FP4, FP5, FP6 and FP7

; WIT through
the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) is actively engaged in steering
the Future Internet agenda in Europe

prise Ireland;

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Government agencies

the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of
Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, COFORD
, Failte Ireland, Teagasc

The European Research Council

WIT’s Macular Pigment Research Group was the first
with th
e IoT sector
of a €1.5m award under the very prestigious Starting


The predominant international source of funding for research in the Institute has been through the
European Commission, particularly Interreg and the Seventh Framework
Programme (FP7). In the
academic year

over two thirds of all competitive funding granted to the Institute was
through these European programmes. Horizon 2020 (to commence post 2013), has placed a strong
emphasis on maximising the contribution of

EU funded research and innovation to sustainable
growth and jobs and to tackling the grand challenges facing Europe

for example climate change,
energy and food security, health and our ageing population. Horizon 2020 seeks to integrate and
streamline fu
nding at a pan
European level whilst seeking to develop “smart specialization” in
regions of the EU.

The Framework Programme is a complex environment and competition for funding through its
various themes and instruments is increasing, particularly as man
y governments around Europe cut
national research funding levels. The principles underpinning the programme

to ensure added
value at EU level through collaborative efforts and large scale initiatives


a strategic
approach by the Institute to en
sure it continues to successfully participate in the programme.

Engagement & Knowledge Exchange

At the core of the Institute’s
lan is its commitment to engagement and knowledge
exchange with research partners, regional and national stakeholders

and industry. In particular
through EU Framework Programmes and the SFI Strategic Research Clusters Programme

through the TSSG as an established record of large scale research collaborations with multi


such as IBM, Cisco,
and EMC.

more with a strong pharmaceutical presence in the
South East Region
, the Institute also has established research partnerships with companies such as
Genzyme, Teva, Bausch & Lomb and Merck Sharp

WIT has developed 3
Technology Gateway Centres


by Enterprise Ireland

in the areas of
telecommunications and

services (TSSG), applied materials (SEAM) and pharmaceutical and
molecular biotechnology (PMBRC).
A profile of these centres is presented
on pages 10

centres in particular have considerably strengthened the extent of the Institute’s research
engagements with regional and national
enterprises particularly in the ICT / software,
industrial technologies, medical devices and pharmaceutical

In terms of supporting




enhance research and innovation capacity WIT continues to
target opportunities for collaboration funded through Enterprise Ireland’s Innovation Partnership
and Innovation Vouchers Programmes. In September 2
010 the Institute was awarded Top
Performing Institute under the Innovation Vouchers Programme
and has completed more than 240
projects since the programme inception.

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Since its foundation t
he Institute’s ArcLabs Innovation Centre
has supported more than 33

, 10 of which have graduated from the Centre. Currently more than
200 staff

employed in the companies based in Arclabs.

Furthermore WIT’s
New Frontiers Programme
(formerly the
South East Enterprise
Programme (SEEPP), which h
as been running for more
than 10 years,
continues to be a regional flagship programme providing enterprise education,
mentoring and support facilities to

each year.

Overview of WIT Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG)

The TSSG is an internationally recognised centre of excellence for ICT research and innovation.
core expertise focuses on telecommunication networks, securit
y and mobile services. Since

foundation in 1996,
TSSG has

become an important cata
lyst for driving economic change in the
South East Region
, transforming
novel and disruptive

research ideas into start
up companies

Comprising of over 120 research scientists and engineers,
TSSG is also actively engaged in steering
the Future Internet a
genda in Europe, and is a partner and member of many European technology
platforms and strategic groups of Industry collaborators, including Future Internet Assembly (FIA);
he Industry Specification Group,

Internet on Identity and Access Management;


Trust in
the Digital Life initiative; and EP3R, European Public
Private Partnership for Resilience.

The strengths of the TSSG reach far beyond academia.
TSSG has

carefully fostered communication
with industry, research bodies, and policy makers, a
nd with those connections
it has

created a
powerful business resource for Industry, as a cultivator of innovation. The TSSG’s vision is to
leverage science and innovation to help improve the competitiveness of Ireland.


TSSG has graduated 28 MSc
(research) and 5 PhD students to date. The current cohort of 20 PhD
students has an expected graduation rate of 5 graduates per year for the next four years. TSSG,
together with WIT has offered, since September 2004, a taught MSc in Computing, specialising

Communications Software, with a thematic research focus on communications management, service
development, security and new developments in ubiquitous and pervasive computing. This
programme has since graduated 50 students.

TSSG Research

TSSG research
teams comprise some of Ireland’s leading telecommunications and software
engineering experts; this knowledge and expertise has enabled us to work with academic and
industry leaders from around the globe. TSSG’s industry collaborators include Nokia, Ericsso
n, Nokia
Siemens Networks and Alcatel

as well as Tier 1 operators including Telefónica/O2, T
Mobile, Telecom Italia, Vodafone, Telenor Group, Portugal Telecom and many more.

Ranked as one of the top 10 research organisations shaping ‘Future Inter
net’ research by the
European Commission, we are currently the only Irish academic leading a large FP7 ICT project. TSSG
is funded through Irish HEA, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), European Union Framework
Programme FP6 & FP7 funding, and Enterprise Ire
land (EI) commercialisation funds.
Our research

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has attracted expatriates

to return to Ireland, and has inspired the best and brightest global

nationals to live and work with TSSG in the South East




The TSSG is
particularly unique in the Irish research landscape in its focus on the development of a
complete research and innovation research lifecycle. Whilst the TSSG research and innovation
lifecycle model acknowledges the theoretical frameworks its focus remains
pragmatic building upon
a set of overlapping activities that can be categorised as each of the following:


Basic research

(with an emphasis on academic publications in peer
reviewed journals
and the production of PhD students and the establishment of intern
ational academic


Applied research

(with an emphasis on addressing industrial problems through
prototype development and an impact on standards and industrial forums and the
establishment of international industrial linkages);


product develop

(with an emphasis on the production of industrial strength
prototypes that fit the product roadmaps of key industrial players);


Commercialisation, entrepreneurship and technology transfer support

(with an emphasis
on building successful spin
out and s
in companies and of licensing IP to companies).

Then co
locate a critical mass of all of these activities together and allow ideas to flow in all
irections by encouraging both formal and informal interrelationships.

This effectively has created a
mini system of innovation in one location.

The TSSG has transformed the ICT landscape of the South
East through the creation of a cluster of mobile Services High Potential Start
ups in the Waterford
Region which employ more
than 200 high end engineers. It has created 11 spin off companies in the
South East; including FeedHenry who recently announced that it was creating an additional 100 jobs
as a result of a €7million investment by
international venture capitalists
. Its inte
rnational reputation
for innovation has attracted over 100 highly skilled software engineers from around the world to

for the benefit of local industry
It is working with local industry to customise its
postgraduate training programme to meet i
ndustry needs. It is also developing skills based
undergraduate training and innovation courses to retrain unemployed professionals as ICT

impact of this innovation platform was recently acknowledged by Enterprise Ireland
in the Public Acc
ounts Debate.

“Waterford is a shining example of how co
locating the incubation centre with the institute has led
to the establishment of a software industry that probably should not have existed in Waterford.
e the normal impacts of business around there, this industry has been driven from the
educational facility. Also in Waterford one sees the flow of graduates and researchers into local
industry and start

Mr. Gearóid Mooney, Director of ICT Commerci
alisation, Enterprise Ireland

Committee of Public
Accounts Debate, 31 January 2013.)

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Overview of

WIT Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research
Centre (PMBRC)

ast is a major hub of the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland.
The Region

hosts some of
the world’s largest multinationals (GlaxoSmithKline, Mer
ck Sharp & Dohme) as well as indigenous
based companies such as EirGen Pharma Ltd. Products produced in
the Region

range from
generic tablets to high
value antibody, enzyme and vaccine medications.

Pharmaceutical and
Molecular Biotechnology
Research Centre (PMBRC) was established at

in May 2008.

Since then
the PMBRC has secured more than
€11 million


funding towards the building and furnishing state
art laboratories from
Higher Education Authority,

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI),

Technological Sector Research Strand III initiative and Enterprise Irelands Capital Equipment Grant
for the Institutes of Technology.

The PMBRC consists of a 700 m

art facility with 34 highly
trained r
esearch personnel.
entre has fostered links with national and international partners in industry, academia and
medical care institutions.

objective of the PMBRC is to act as a focus for strategic
research in support of the pharmaceutical a
nd biopharmaceutical industries, a key sector in Ireland
with a high cluster in the
South East Region
. The
entre aims to promote regional economic activity,
through the creation of a strong applied research base.

In particular, the centre aims to stimu
late research and innovation, allowing companies to embed
R&D into their activities and support the sustainable growth of the sector in
the Region
. Research in
the PMBRC focuses on addressing important areas of pharmaceutical development and can be
sed under the following themes:

rug delivery technologies

Pharmaceutical analysis
and characterisation

Novel process and sensor technologies

Molecular biotechnology

iomedical research

Commercialisation of research is an important focus of the centre and the PMBRC have filed 4
patent applications since 2009.
The PMBRC brings together a multi
disciplinary research team,
committed to the discovery and development of new innovative methods
and technologies for the
analysis, delivery and manufacture of pharmaceutical drug targets.

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The following case studies illustrate the impact of the centre on local industry. In a project funded by
the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher scheme, the PMBRC isolated and identified 3 impurities in
a tablet product being developed by EirGen Pharma L
td. The project allowed EirGen to file the
product with the European Medicines Agency which was approved in June 2010.

Overview of South Eastern Applied Materials Research Centre (SEAM

SEAM is an industry focused ap
plied research centre, providing innovative materials engineering
solutions for companies from a wide range of sectors, including bio
medical devices,
pharmaceuticals, micro
electronics, precision engineering and industrial technologies. SEAM offers

consultancy, characterisation, failure analysis and strategic research partnership programs
(short, medium and long term) to support industries throughout Ireland.

SEAM is currently involved in a number of Industrial research projects, including innovatio
vouchers, innovation partnerships and EU Research for the benefit of SMEs. All of these projects are
industrially focused and aimed at the research needs of our customers. Project areas include:

Development of Finite element analysis models to diagnose a
nd remedy residual stress
induced failures in the drill heads

Determination of the cause of optical anomalies exhibited by silicone rubber used in medical

Development of a methodology for the non
destructive characterisation of inclusions in
l device and orthopaedic components

Finite Element Analysis of stresses introduced into high tension cables

Examination of the post
sterilisation discolouration of pharmaceutical tablets

Quantifying the adhesive

of contact lenses in anterior mou

Assessment of conductivity problems encountered in thin film transparent conductive oxides

Determination of cause of lichen adhesion to construction bricks from different production

SEAM is funded under the Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Gateway Programme. Since its inception
in 2009 SEAM has worked with more than
0 companies throughout the country.

“ We hear a lot of commentary about the ‘Smart Economy’ and the need for Ireland to move up
the value chain

the research work of the PMBRC is a firm example o
f that going beyond
rhetoric in the pharmaceutical sector. Our partnership with the Centre is a key part of our vision
for EirGen Pharma and the working relationship has already been a very productive one on
several levels

perhaps most starkly when resea
rch at the Centre allowed us to proceed with a
key drug in our portfolio that might otherwise have been abandoned”.

(Mr Tom Brennan, Co
Founder, EirGen Pharma Ltd.)

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Appendix B: Economic Importance of Health Care to the South East

Economic Importan
ce of
are to the South East

Hospitals in the South
East are a major source of employment, employing close to 5,000 workers. It
is estimated that each job in the Health Services sector supports 1.18 jobs elsewhere in the
economy. In total, it has be
en estimated that just over 8,800 jobs are directly and indirectly
supported by the hospitals of the South

egion (Power, 2012). The purchasing power of hospital
employed staff has been estimated as worth more than €242.34 million to t

WIT’s role in Supporting the Health Related Economy

WIT supports regional health related services and companies through two mechanisms

its health
focused research activity and the development of human capital in health services and health
ed industries through its provision of undergraduate and postgraduate education and research
training programmes.
The Institute has seen a substantial growth of its health care research agenda
over the last five years. Today the Institute supports health c
are research in a number of
multidisciplinary areas.


The School of Health Science

The School of Health Sciences at WIT consists of the Department of Nursing and the Department of
Health, Sport and Exercise Science. The School

is a significan
t provider of undergrad
uate and post
graduate education and training to health care professionals and service providers within
egion, both in the public and private sector over the past 11 years. The School’s recent success
in winning an EU

FP7 Industry Academia Partnership Grant worth €2.04 million to examine the
misuse of codeine based products is testament to its success in building close relations with the
private health care sector and establishing a network of partnerships with interna
tionally recognised
centres of research excellence in Europe, the United States and South Africa that is of benefit to the

Its provision of nursing registration programmes (General, Psychiatric and Intellectual Disability
Nursing) within the Regio
n ensures that hospitals across the Region can attract sufficient numbers of
new graduate recruits to support clinical services and ensuring that local young people from low and
middle income background have the opportunity to train as nurses within their
own region and not
be deterred from entering the profession because of the extra costs associated with having to move
to nurse education centres in Cork and Dublin.

Equally its

recognised expertise in innovative educational approaches such as multiple i
teaching and learning, work based learning and telehealth

assists local clinical services, both public
and private, to attract inward investment to support the development of new services and thereby
create employment. The example of the Schoo
l’s work with Rigney Dolphin is a case in point

The Telehealth Research Group

is a recent addition to the research family located within

WIT. It is a
joint initiative between the School of Health Sciences, the TSSG at WIT, HSE SE and local telehealth

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ustries to provide research support for the development and use of mobile health technologies
within clinical services. The bringing together of academic, clinical and industry applied expertise not
only makes this a significant development for the support

of clinical services but provides a catalyst
for the establishment of telehealth industries in the
egion. The group is currently
working with the National Clinical Care Programme for Epilepsy on a research initiative to develop
metrics to expl
ore the implementation and use of mobile health technologies in the management of
epilepsy. It is also working with the Cleveland Medical Centre, USA and Rigney Dolphin in training
and evaluating the use of telehealth nursing triage, particularly in the re
mote management of
coronary heart disease.

There are major opportunities for the Region to develop novel community based systems for health
care management which can support the national objective of creating a more efficient and cost
effective service. T
he application of new innovation ICT based health care systems supporting
community based health management and support systems can help to promote
the Region

as a
location for high technology health related industries
Continued investment within the Regi
on in
human capital development in the Nursing and Health Care professions through education and
research will be paramount to ensuring the development and clustering of technology related
service industries in the South East.

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Appendix C: Regional
Innovation & Competitiveness

The recent investment that the European Commission has made in funding a series of workshops
entitled Week of Innovative Regions in Europe 2013 (WIRE 2013) is testament to the importance the
Commission is placing on regions. D
uring the WIRE 2013 conference held in UCC 5

to 7


many of the international speakers built on President Barroso’s recent comment that “regions are
leading [need to lead] the way in research and innovation for growth and competitiveness”. The
Regional Innovation Scoreboard (RIS) published in 2012 states that “as the regional level is important
for economic development and for the design and implementation of innovation policies, it is
important to have indicators to compare and benchmark innova
tion performance at regional level”
(p.6). The same report reiterated that “innovation is a key factor determining productivity growth
(p.9) and “regions are increasingly becoming important engines of economic development” (p.9).

Whereas Ireland rates we
ll in the RIS analysis and is overall considered an Innovation Follower (as
opposed to an innovation leader, or moderate innovator, or modest innovator) and in particular the
Southern and Eastern
egion is considered a Follower
high (compared to the Border
, Midland and
Western region which is considered Follower
low), there is doubt that the South

egion could
be considered as Follower
high. According to RIS (2012) regional competitiveness cannot be
regarded as a macroeconomic concept. A region is neit
her a simple aggregation of firms nor a scaled
version of nations (Gardiner et al., 2004).

The issue with considering the South

East as a Follower
high is that it could be overlooked as a
region that needs further investment and focused policy direction a
nd implementation if it is to
become a sustainable, innovative, competitive region. The economic indicators for the South

see Table 1

clearly show that it is underperforming compared to the
tate average, and therefore
should not be classified as an

Innovation Follower

Economic indicator






index of disposable income per capita



Median annual household disposable in 2010



Participation rate in higher education



Percentage of MNEs



% of those in employment employed in MNEs



Table 1 Economic indicators for the South
East compared to the State

The Southern and Eastern
egion contains a capital region (Greater Dublin Area (GDA) and two
like regions (Cork, and Limerick/Shannon). Such centre


a tendency to
overshadow and misconstrue the true economic performance of lesser endowed sub

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(O’Gorman, 2005). RIS (2012) based on its analysis of 570 regions states that their fi
ndings “confirm
that capital regions are more innovative than non
capital regions” (p.17).

Key indicators for regional innovation, which because of unavailability of data in
the Region
, are not
included in the calculations for the Regional Innovation
Scoreboard for the Southern and Eastern
egion are:


New doctorate graduates per 1,000 population aged 25


Percentage population aged 30
34 having completed tertiary education


Percentage of youth aged 20

24 having attained at least upper secondary level



International scientific co
publication per million population


Scientific publications among the top 10% most cited publications worldwide as % of total
scientific publications of the country


EU doctorate students as a % of all doctoral stud

These are just some of the “enabler” indicators. The data for the Southern and Eastern
egion is not
available for these

therefore the data for the South



is also, most likely, not
available. However, hav
numbers, or “chasin
g numbers” is one thing but it is a fruitless exercise if
a nurturing culture and environment do not exist to generate commercial output and jobs from the
education, scientific research, and publications.

Thus the South

East is different than the Southern
and Eastern
egion and the
tate as a whole;
therefore, because innovation policy is increasingly being designed and implemented at regional
the Southern & Eastern Region’s

diversity and smart

calls for innovation
support programmes
that are tailored to meet the South

East’s needs.

Regional competitiveness

is not simply resulting from a stable macroeconomic framework or
entrepreneurship on the micro
level. New patterns of competition are recognizable, especially at the
regional level:

for example, geographical concentrations of linked industries, like clusters, are of
increasing importance and the availability of knowledge and technology based tools show high
variability within countries (Annoni and Kozovska, RCI 2010 report). This def
inition, on which the RCI
index is buil

upon, focuses on the close link between regional competitiveness and regional
prosperity, characterizing competitive regions not only by output
related terms such as productivity
but also by overall economic perform
ance such as sustained or improved level of comparative
prosperity (Bristow, 2005). Huggins (2003) underlines, in fact, that “true local and regional
competitiveness occurs only when sustainable growth is achieved at labour rates that enhance
overall stand
ards of living.” (
: RIS, 2012).

According to Hilpert (2013) “
one needs to understand that though this geography of innovation is

built on Islands of Innovation and their regional labour markets, there remains the

question as to
which path of
innovative development they may follow and

whether innovative labour markets
provide additional instruments for appropriate

olicies to have a positive infl
uence on advanced
economic development.

us, in the end, it is not suffi
cient to study both t
he regionalisation

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of innovative

labour markets and the migration of such labour to Islands of Innovation, rather

it is
necessary to discover more about the role of innovative labour markets in

building Islands of
Innovation and how to continue this situat
ion in the future

there is demand for both the attractive
conditions needed to attract innovative

for institutions to be prepared to reproduce
highly innovative labour

based on their own capacities
” (p.27).

The Centre for Enterprise Developm
ent & Regional Economy (CEDRE), WIT

The Centre for Enterprise Development & Regional Economy (CEDRE) at the School of Business in
WIT plays a major role in WIT’s mission to be a major contributor to the economic growth and
development of Ireland’s
South Ea
st Region
. With extensive expertise amongst its academic and
research staff WIT is well
resourced to be a key force in supporting, promoting and developing
entrepreneurship in the Region. CEDRE provides a framework and environment for entrepreneurs,
chers, academics and policy makers/implementers to engage in a mutually complementary
manner to support economic development in the Region.

The overall aim of CEDRE is to make a contribution to the development of entrepreneurship
education and research.
In educating and developing entrepreneurs and business owners, as well as
policy makers and business advisors, the Centre positions itself at the forefront of entrepreneurial
activity in the Region.

Key thematic research interests of the Centre include: d
efining and
developing entrepreneurial regions, analysing the direct impact of MCEs on the creation of new
ventures in their host regions, creating a framework for the growth of entrepreneurship and
examining the impact of entrepreneurship education on ent
repreneurial activity.

Because of the
importance, within the EU of regional development, investigations into such thematic research areas
have received extensive funding from the EU via FP6 (Regions of Knowledge), FP7 (Regions of
Knowledge), and Interreg W
ales Ireland Programme 3A and 4A.