Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Questions (446)

Jerry Buttimer

Question:

446. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation regarding efforts to boost research and innovation at regional level, his views on the Cork Declaration arising from the WIRE2013 Conference held in UCC and how this declaration has been used by the Government as contributing to the output of the Irish Presidency of the European Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34212/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The role of Government is to create the conditions where enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation can flourish and quality employment opportunities can be grown and maintained. Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, the enterprise development agencies under the aegis of my Department, in conjunction with the relevant City and County Enterprise Boards, support enterprise development in the regions. The Government is committed to delivering national recovery and economic development, and the role local authorities play in promoting this at a local level is essential to the overall national effort. The sustainability of our regions will be significantly shaped by interaction with the international economy – in terms of investment, tourism and the growth of indigenous businesses.

In the European context, the European Union is putting clear emphasis on policies that will return us to growth and create more and better jobs. Encouraging and supporting regional excellence in innovation is a key component of ensuring that European regions continue to flourish. The European Union plays an essential role in giving researchers from every corner of the EU the opportunity to develop their competences and to find suitable partners to collaborate with.

The theme of the recently concluded Irish EU Presidency was Stability, Growth and Jobs. 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 purpose of the WIRE 2013 conference, which was organised by Enterprise Ireland and the European Commission, was to contribute to regional policy development in the areas of research, innovation and learning at both European and regional level. The occasion of the conference was used to enhance policy formation for effective regional development.

There were four central themes which will form the basis for the Declaration:

- C – COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

- O – OUTWARD LOOKING

- R – REGIONAL DIMENSION

- K - KNOWLEDGE

The conclusions of the conference will form the basis of a WCork Declaration"; this will be used as formal input by Ireland’s Presidency of the EU, to the Competitiveness Council and will be circulated to leading European regional representative organisations and communities, forming a key output of the Irish Presidency.