New Presidency brochure on 'Science and Technology in Ireland'
The Irish Presidency has published a brochure on the key institutional elements and funding organisations of the science and technology system in Ireland.
'Science and Technology in Ireland' devotes a page to 'Ireland and the EU', and states that the Union 'has played a crucial role in shaping and priming the development of national science and technology structures in Ireland.' The Structural Funds have boosted the country's R&D resources and the Framework Programmes have 'provided opportunities for Irish researchers to collaborate with European partners in leading edge research.'
Mary Harney, Ireland's Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, has established a high level national steering group to assess the implications of the emerging European Research Area and related policy initiatives. The group is charged with preparing an action plan and recommending targets for Ireland.
The publication also provides an overview of the research and development (R&D) performance of the public and private sectors in Ireland. The country remains well below the Commission's target figure of three per cent in terms of research investment as a percentage of GDP, allocating only 1.4 per cent to R&D. This figure is also below the EU average of 1.93 per cent. Investment is, however, increasing.
Industry is the major source of R&D funding, and accounted for 67 per cent of investment in 2001. This percentage had decreased between 1995 and 2001, however.
Over the same period, government funding increased from 23 per cent to 28 per cent. Other sources accounted for five per cent, and include the EU Framework Programmes.
Ireland is again below the EU average in terms of human resources. Some 5.1 workers out of 1,000 are researchers, compared to the EU-wide figure of 5.8. Once again, however, Ireland is making progress in this area. Progress is no doubt helped by the fact that Ireland has the highest percentage of science and engineering graduates as a percentage of all graduates (35 per cent) among all 16 OECD countries. The majority of these graduate with a science degree.
The country compares favourable with its European counterparts in terms of the potential pool of women qualified in science, engineering and technology. Over 50 per cent of science graduates were women in 2002, while the figure for the EU as a whole was only 41 per cent.
The brochure also contains details of the country's public funding organisations, each of which comes under the auspices of one of eight government departments
To access the publication online, please visit:
Data Source Provider: Irish Government
Document Reference: Based on the brochure 'Science and Technology in Ireland'
Subject Index: Scientific Research