Excellence & Impact 2020 UL Launches ambitious Research and Innovation Strategy to drive university forward

Prof Don Barry, Minister Damien English, Dr Mary Shire launch Excellence & Impact 2020 - Research and Innovation Strategy

A roadmap for future growth and development to 2020 at the University of Limerick underpinned by Research and Innovation was unveiled today (12th January 2016) at the launch of Excellence & Impact 2020 -  research and innovation strategy for the University of Limerick by Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD.

Speaking from the launch of the strategy UL Vice President Research Dr Mary Shire said: “This is an exciting time for Research and Innovation at the University of Limerick as we build on firm foundations and a reputation for delivering significant impact for our research partners. Our new strategy focuses on research excellence and leveraging our position as the leader in translational research and partners of choice for industry while extending our global reach.

“We have a good track record for such a young University and with this strategy we are refocusing. Our outlook will be international, our ethos will be excellence with impact and our approach will be innovative. UL has recognised strengths in the areas of materials, advanced manufacturing, software, health and applied mathematical sciences. This strategy aims to intensify critical mass in our areas of strength while focusing on investment in people as our research activities continue to evolve  through new and emerging areas. The attraction of major R&D centres to Limerick in recent times has been underpinned by the research strengths of UL, this drives vital investment in Ireland and provides a pipeline for our highly skilled graduates“

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD said: " The University of Limerick (UL) has for long been regarded as a "university of enterprise" in the Irish University landscape, positioning itself close to the needs of the enterprise base in Ireland, and this new Research and Innovation Strategy is seeking to build on that innate capability. I am very pleased to see that UL's "Excellence & Impact 2020" aligns fully with the Government's new Innovation 2020 Strategy, launched in December last, and I look forward to UL continuing to play a very important role in the research and innovation ecosystem nationally over this period".

The new strategy incorporates four goals: Research Excellence, Research Impact, Investing in People and International Reach. Combined, they will drive UL’s reputation as an internationally-recognised research-led institution delivering excellent research with impact.

Key targets for the five year strategy include:

  • 20% increase in the number of doctoral enrolments
  • 100% increase in the number of employment-based and part-time doctoral enrolments
  • 30% increase in the number of publications in top 10 percentile journals
  • A doubling of income from European funding sources relative to that achieved under FP7
  • Establish commercialisation and entrepreneurship training for all staff and students and expanded enterprise boot camp activities for second and third level students.
  • A 25% increase in new spin-out companies and a 20% increase in research income from industry

Research at UL addresses areas of importance to Irish society, such as education, languages, healthcare and social inclusion. It also has significant impact on sectors that are vital to the Irish economy, such as pharmaceuticals, med-tech, software, food communications and energy. 

The strategy is fully aligned with the government’s ambition as outlined in Innovation 2020 – the new strategy for Research and Development, Science and Technology.

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