The Government approved arrangements in July 2011, whereby Enterprise Ireland would support the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces capability development through engagement with Irish-based enterprise and research institutes on the use and application of innovative civilian technologies in the military sphere. The White Paper on Defence reinforces this arrangement stating the Defence Forces will make available resources and expertise, including advice and information, to Enterprise Ireland supported companies and research institutes. In return the Defence Forces are exposed to new technologies and research that could inform the direction of defence capabilities.
The White Paper on Defence recognises the need to "resolve the issues of intellectual property rights and possible endorsement of such products or research." In this context a project has been created, jointly staffed by civilian and military personnel. The project team is currently developing an Intellectual Property Policy for the Defence Organisation. It is expected that the policy will be finalised and approved in the coming months.
Innovation is currently recognised and rewarded in the Defence Forces - the Chief of Staff Innovation Award 2018 was recently launched in recognition of innovative expertise within the Defence Forces. This award offers Defence Forces personnel an opportunity to shape future capability development. The winner(s) of the award will receive a place on the TechInnovate Intrapreneur Training Programme hosted by National University of Ireland.