Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (39)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

38 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the steps he is taking to streamline the application process and support in respect of research and development across Departments. [33862/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation)

There is a wide range of diverse supports for different types of research and development across a number of Government Departments and State Agencies. There are no plans, at present, to streamline application processes for this diverse range of R&D supports across all research funders. The application criteria for research in, say, medical devices would be very different from the application criteria for an energy project.

However, in line with the recommendations of the Research Prioritisation Steering Group's Report, for the purpose of competitive calls for funding, research funding Agencies will be adapting their application process to the stage-gate process. This means that research funders will consider how to assess relevance to, and impact on, one of the 14 priority areas of opportunity identified as likely to deliver economic and societal impact. While obviously recognising the need to allow sufficient flexibility to accommodate the outcomes required by specific programmes, it is envisaged that Agencies will ensure that relevance to the priority areas is one of the key criteria in assessing applications and in this way will ensure a degree of consistency across agencies. The stage gate model will not apply to in-company R&D funding.

In addition, the Research Prioritisation Steering Group's Report recommended there should be coherence and a consistency of approach between funding programmes to reduce the administration burden on both agencies and applicants and also to allow for system level evaluations. Implementation of this recommendation will be considered by the Prioritisation Action Group in as part of its ongoing sequencing of reforms.