Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) today launched its Annual Review ahead of the KTI Impact Awards taking place tomorrow evening (23rd June) in Dublin. The Review provides an overview of KTI’s main activities and highlights its achievements in strengthening, supporting and developing the knowledge transfer system in Ireland during 2015. As part of its remit, KTI manages the €22.8 million Enterprise Ireland Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative Funding Programme and works to maximise the flow of technology, IP and ideas into companies for social, economic benefit. KTI does this by making it simple for industry to engage with the Irish research base in order to innovate their business.

KTI’s Annual Review includes the results of its Annual Knowledge Transfer Survey (AKTS), which tracks the business engagement and commercialisation activity between industry and Ireland’s state funded research performing organisations over the previous 12 months. It looks at the range of ways research performing organisations operate within the innovation eco-system. The 25 Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) surveyed by KTI had a combined research expenditure of €536 million in 2015.

Key 2015 figures from the survey include;

· 38 new products launched on the market as a result of a licence from a RPO – a 27% increase on last year.

· 31 new spin-out companies formed.

· 1,235 collaborative research programmes between industry and RPOs underway at the end of 2015.

· 597 new contract services agreements signed.

· 372 consultancy agreements signed.

· 111 Active spin-out companies thriving at least 3 years post incorporation

· 930 jobs in active spin-out companies reported

Commenting on the review Director of KTI Dr Alison Campbell said, “In 2015 we saw a significant rise in the level of research commercialisation coming from Irish Research Performing Organisations known as RPOs. This is evident across a number of key areas that include collaborative research for R&D, the licensing of novel intellectual property and the creation of new ventures, all of which are designed to drive business innovation and competitiveness. The Knowledge Transfer profession here in Ireland continues to grow and prosper and we now have the highest number of Registered Technology Transfer Professionals (pro rata) than any other country. I look forward to celebrating their achievement and success at our awards ceremony tomorrow.”

Speaking at the launch of the review and in advance of the KTI awards Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said, “Research is firmly on the national agenda with an investment of €727m last year into R&D by Government. The work of KTI and the finalists at the KTI Impact Awards this evening showcase just how important the Irish research base is for driving innovation, competitiveness and job creation. Through funding for research and development we are helping to stimulate business innovation and turn great ideas into great companies and great jobs”.

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