In October 2010 a Research Prioritisation Steering Group was appointed with the task of conducting a comprehensive analysis of Research, Development and Innovation activity in Ireland. Its remit was to identify the areas of greatest opportunity in terms of the fit between our strengths and capacities on one hand and the potential return on investment -economically and socially — and the potential for jobs on the other. The Steering Group was chaired by former General Manager of Intel Ireland and Vice-President of Intel Corporation, Mr. Jim O Hara, and its membership was drawn from enterprise and research strands with expertise from private and public sectors.
The Group presented their Report towards the end of last year and at the end of February this year the Government agreed to implementation of the recommendations of the Report as a whole-of-Government policy goal. This means the alignment of the majority of public investment in science, technology and innovation, over the next 5 years, to the 14 areas of opportunity identified by the Steering Group as most likely to deliver economic and societal impact and ultimately jobs.
Implementation of research prioritisation has been underway since March of this year, under the direction of a Prioritisation Action Group which I personally chair and the Group includes representatives of all key Government Departments and research funders.