When and where is it on?

This year’s Research and Innovation Conference is taking place in the Citywest Convention Centre on the 14th March 2018.

How many years has it been going?

This will be the fourth edition of the event. It was previously known as Innovate Ireland but has since changed to the Research and Innovation Conference.

What was the inspiration to start it?

I’ve often felt that the significance of the research and development sector economically is often overlooked. Right now, there are close to 30,000 employed purely in R&D roles with billions invested annually. We have an attractive tax credit structure attracting leading biotech, pharma, medical device and financial services companies from around the world. The purpose of the Research and Innovation is to bring together the leaders in the sector to plan ahead and increase collaboration so that the industry can continue to grow.

What exciting things can people look forward to?

We’ll have over 1,000 R&D industry professionals, 100 speakers and 100 exhibitors attending to discuss the challenges in the R&D sector. Speakers will be addressing challenges in areas such as tax, employment, training and skills, and foreign direct investment.

We’ll also have four co-located events designed to showcase the latest innovations in the health, medtech and pharmaceutical sectors and will feature individual exhibitors, speakers and seminars.

The National Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Expo, National Health Expo, National Medtech and Biotech Summit will include speakers and exhibitors from leading global companies such as Pharma Nord, Pfizer, Brother and Srl Pharma. Attendees will also be treated to a showcase of the latest technology driving innovation in the research and development sector along with new products, services and debates on the latest trends.

We’ll also have the National Education, Training and Skills Summit taking place featuring seminars and hands-on demonstrations of the latest education and training solutions, networking opportunities, and the opportunity to meet over 50 exhibitors in the education and skills space.

What opportunities are on offer for those attending?

We’ve had many delegates register from international pharma, medtech, biotech, life sciences, energy and ICT companies as well as key universities, research bodies, government and funding agencies. It’s an ideal event to network across industries under the umbrella of one sector and we’ll have several networking spaces at the event. There will also be the opportunity to meet with over 100 exhibitors showcasing their latest products and looking to explore business opportunities. The event will also feature dozens of seminars, so attendees can engage directly with speakers on topics of interest to them.

Who will be speaking?

Some of the top speakers at this year’s event include:

  • Jim Power, Economist
  • Philippe Brodeur, CEO, Overcast
  • Ken Finnegan, Chief Technologist, IDA
  • Marie Wallace, Analytics Strategist, IBM
  • Breandan Kennedy, Head of Pharmacology, UCD
  • Deirdre Mortell, Founder, Social Innovation Fund

What tips would you give to people attending to get the most out of it?

The best advice I can give is to plan your day. We’ll have the schedule up on the website a week before the event, but it will be a busy event. There will be five stages throughout the day and a dozen seminars so make sure you catch the speakers and presentations of interest to you. Take note of the exhibitors attending too. There will be a list of exhibitors given to you on the day as part of the brochure with descriptions of each. Don’t be afraid to approach speakers who you want to connect with either. They’re there to make connections too.

How can people book tickets / when does it usually sell out?

Entry to the Research and Innovation Conference is free for a limited time only. We usually reach capacity limits three to four days before the event, so we recommend people to register early. You can register at www.innovateireland.ie.


Edited and prepared by Amy Murphy, Journalism student from DCU.

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