IRELAND: Measuring the yield from research spending

A hard-hitting review of engineering research in Irish universities and its potential for making a contribution to economic development was recently published by the Irish Academy of Engineering, writes Professor John Kelley for the Irish Times.

The figures show that in the four years from 2005 to 2009, the last government spent EUR1.35 billion (US$1.9 billion) of public funds on research in universities, with 85% allocated to the disciplines in sciences, 8% to engineering and 7% to other, mostly arts, disciplines.

If this level and pattern of expenditure is to be continued, it is surely necessary, in the current economic climate, that it is critically evaluated by Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn with regard to its contribution to the national economy. In particular, it is important to look at the output we would expect to get from such expenditure of taxpayers' money.
Full commentary on the Irish Times site