Call for state to clarify innovation policy

A CLEAR policy framework is needed from the Government if the country is to become competitive on the science, technology and innovation (STI) front.

That is according to the Marketing Institute of Ireland (MII), which has published a commentary on the Government’s strategy.

“We welcome the overall ambition and intent of Ireland’s innovation strategy, but good intention is no longer sufficient,” MII chief executive Tom Trainor said.

The MII said Ireland continues to lag international competitors in the STI sphere and has failed to rise above ninth position in the EU innovation rankings since 2004. STI-related inward investment from the eurozone has halved in the past six years.

“This is very serious and fundamental to our future. If we’re to move up the innovation rankings, we need a clear and transparent STI policy framework with clear milestones, reconciled targets across all relevant government departments and agencies and a defined budget,” Mr Trainor said.

According to the MII, Ireland’s poor performance demands a transformation in the national STI approach.

“We’re calling for a small, but empowered, leadership team to be put in charge, comprising the best implementation talent of the private and public sectors, who are publicly accountable for delivery,” Mr Trainor said.

“We have to readjust our mindset and open ourselves up to benchmarking Ireland’s innovation system against the best,” said MII’s Matt Kavanagh.

The MII said Ireland, in 10 years time, could be a country with a strong international reputation for creativity and innovation and a prime location for growing sustainable businesses. But marketing will also have to play a role in achieving this, according to Mr Kavanagh.


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