Annual Report 2001 - Office for Innovation and Business Relations

annual report 2001

office for innovation and business relations

Director: Dr Anthony Glynn
Unit Report

This Academic year has again been one of achievement and continued success. The Business Liaison/ INTRA programme continues to grow and develop on both the National and International level. The Research support and associated services continues to expand and with the advent of INVENT - the Innovation & Enterprise Centre, the University's technology transfer and campus company programme will be considerably enhanced. The Office for Innovation & Business Relations which is now located in INVENT will have responsibility for the day to day operation of the Centre.

Business/Industrial Liaison and INTRA Programme
The 2001 INTRA Programme involved fifteen degree programmes. There were 622 students placed this year. The placement rate was 100% successful, of which 5% were international placements. The average student remuneration was euro 306 per week. 292 companies participated in the INTRA Programme in 2001.

The Annual Company survey showed that:

  • 93% of the companies were satisfied with the information provided on the INTRA programme.
  • 98% of companies were satisfied with the Contents of student CVs and the management of the interview process.
  • 98% of the companies considered INTRA to be beneficial to their companies
  • 99% of the companies considered the INTRA placement to be cost-effective.

The Office arranged for many visitors from Business/Industry to visit the campus during the year. Many of these visits were organised from overseas companies in conjunction with the IDA. Regular interactions with the state agencies, e.g. Forfas, Forbairt/Enterprise Ireland, IDA, continued on a regular basis.

Role and objective of the Research Desk
The core objective of the Research Desk is to facilitate the pursuit of research in DCU by managing the day-to-day research support function [from provision of information relating to research funding opportunities through to contract stage] within the University. Recent years have seen the role of the Research Desk expanding to incorporate the functions of Technology Transfer and this trend has been particularly evident this year. The sizeable jump in the level of involvement in technology transfer issues reflects the heightened interest, both nationally and internationally, in the commercial returns of funded research undertaken in the third level education sector.

Research Award Activity and Sources of Support
A total of thirty-five (35) new research contracts were activated in 2000-2001 generating an income of 4.3 million euro for the University. National funding accounted for 3.7 million euro of this total, representing a significant increase on funding awarded in previous years. Sources for national funding included Enterprise Ireland, Health Research Board, Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (FIRM), the Marine Institute, and Media Lab Europe. Research funding from the EU's Fifth Rtd Framework Programme continued to be low with just three projects funded this year generating circa 400 k euro for the University. Disappointing, too, has been the level of contracted research collaboration with industry. Records show that just one such contract was concluded for the year in question and this is an issue that we need to address and overcome in the future.

Technology Transfer activity
The Research Desk was involved in drafting a document on Technology Transfer process for DCU; drafting and reviewing Confidentiality Agreements/Non-disclosure Agreements; reviewing the University's Consultancy Policy; negotiating and concluding Research Agreements with industrial parties; concluding Material Transfer Agreements; and drafting and negotiating Memoranda of Understanding.

Other Research Desk deliverables

  • Fortnightly web-based newsletter "Research Desk Bulletin"
  • Maintained contract research database
  • Co-ordination of DCU's submission to the Irish Scientist publications
  • Research Seminar on Preparing a Technology Implementation Plan
  • Research Seminar on the Innovation Partnerships Programme
  • Research Seminar on the Research Innovation Fund Scheme
  • Seminar on VAT Implications for Research
Conference/Seminars attended
  • EPIDOS Training Seminar
  • Association of Science and Technology Transfer Professionals conference
  • A number of external training and information days were also attended
The Innovation and Enterprise Centre - invent
Construction commenced on INVENT, DCU's state-of-the-art Innovation and Enterprise Centre, in May 2000 and was completed in August 2001. INVENT opened its doors on 26 September 2001 in the presence of the then Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Ms Mary Harney T.D., and two hundred invited guests.

The Innovation and Enterprise Centre is a major addition to the facilities of the University. The space amounts to 2800 metres squared over five floors and it is the Republic's newest campus incubator. Designed to be a hub of entrepreneurial activity the facility is a purpose built environment for start-ups and aims to facilitate the creation and development of innovation led companies on campus.

The facility provides start-up companies with :

  • Fully serviced business units of flexible size
  • Concept Deskspace for undergraduates
  • Full Reception and Switchboard facilities
  • Formal Board room and a suite of meeting rooms
  • invent café
  • Access to advanced telecommunication networks
  • In-house business support services
The facilitiy is open to :
  • Entrepreneurs outside the DCU Community wishing to access the resources and facilities of the campus
  • DCU undergraduates and Graduates
  • DCU Researchers and staff