News & Events

930 jobs recorded in Irish spin-out companies in 2015 - KTI

16% growth in collaborative research projects with industry

27% jump in new products as a result of licences from research performing organisations

Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) today launches its Annual Review ahead of the KTI Impact Awards taking place this evening. 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 this evening.”

Speaking at the launch of the review and in advance of the KTI awards this evening (23rd June) 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”.

Note to Editors

Irish State Funding into Research

Much of the knowledge transfer success outlined in the KTI Annual Review and celebrated by the KTI Impact Awards is made possible through publicly funded research. The Irish government invested €727m in the research ecosystem last year. This funding is managed by various State agencies including Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Research Council, the Health Research Board and others.

Success stories highlighted in the Annual Review 2015

Powervation – UL spin out company bought for $70million

Powervation a UL spin out company that develops digital power management system-on-chip solutions sold to ROHM Semiconductor (Japan) in 2015 for US$70 million in an all cash transaction.   The company was established based on research undertaken at UL’s Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering. In acquiring Powervation, ROHM which is a top 25 global semi-conductor company, strengthened its product offerings in the rapidly-growing cloud data-center and communications infrastructure markets. Powervation was actively supported in its development by the Technology Transfer Office at UL. The trade sale yielded a windfall for UL which will be shared with the inventors and will enable UL to further develop the growing campus innovations ecosystem.

Intel and Trinity-Strategic EngagementIntel and Trinity cemented their long history of research and collaboration and in September 2015 this deepened with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding which sets out how the company and the university benefit from working together. The MOU set out three areas of focus all centred on knowledge transfer-research and innovation; talent development and; policy development. Intel has six researchers in residence working full time at Trinity on subjects as diverse as new materials for semi-conductor chips and establishing a national IOT network. These researchers then link back into Intel to create a seamless interface where ideas, breakthroughs and people can flow between Trinity and Intel.

Dublin Institute of Technology and Bridgestone Global

Dynamet – a breakthrough enabling technology for rubber texting and analysis - was developed by researchers in DIT Bolton Street and licensed to Bridgestone Global by DIT Hothouse, the technology transfer office at DIT. The Dynamet technology allows rubber samples to be tested whilst being stretched in two different directions simultaneously. It will allow Bridgestone to perform accelerated usage and testing across its various tyres and industrial rubber products such as conveyor belts and rubber tracks. The technology has multiple uses and DIT have plans to launch a new marketing campaign targeting companies in the medical industry. 

The KTI Awards The KTI Impact Awards recognise and showcase the success in knowledge transfer carried out in Irish Higher Education Institutes and publicly funded research organisations for the wider benefit of the economy and society.  Across six categories, the awards recognise top performance in industry engagement and commercialisation of research and pay tribute to the businesses and research performing organisations involved in this knowledge transfer.  

Finalists will be shortlisted in each category with the winners being announced on Thursday 23rd June at the KTI Impact Awards Ceremony to be held at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin 8.