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Dublin eyes the innovation premier league

Ireland could leave much larger nations trailing with its ambitious plans for research and innovation, writes Dick Ahlstrom.

Ireland’s latest five-year research strategy, unveiled on 8 December and its previous Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2006-13 have one thing in common: both were forged at a time of economic growth. There are of course significant differences between the two documents, but reading yesterday’s announcement of a near doubling of R&D funding to €5 billion feels almost as though the crash of 2008 never happened. 

That context is crucial because, although the economy needed a reboot after 2008, successive Irish governments wisely protected research spending in that period. That gave the current government more of a foundation to build on once growth began to return. 

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