Official launch of ‘Knowledge-Driven Entrepreneurship – The Key to Social and Economic Transformation’

Get Smart! Ireland Needs Focus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Smart Economic and Societal


Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan T.D., and Dr. Martin Schuurmans, Chairman of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), today launched ‘Knowledge-Driven Entrepreneurship – The Key to Social and Economic Transformation’ at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin (Tuesday January 5, 2010). Co-written by Intel’s Director of Intel Labs Europe and NUI Maynooth Professor Martin Curley with Professor Thomas Anderson and Professor Piero Formica, the book argues that Europe must look towards developing and harnessing its knowledge and entrepreneurial skill set, in order to develop a true ‘smart economy’ and ‘smart society’.

The book identifies knowledge driven entrepreneurship as the current shift from the mastery of physical assets and tools such as buildings and factories to that of intangible assets such as education, patents and socio–cultural tools. The authors propose that a bridge must be built between disciplines to help fuel Ireland and Europe’s economic and social transformation.

Co-author Prof. Martin Curley said, “It is crucial that Ireland plays to its strengths and brings knowledge to the fore of its ‘smart economy’. In particular, high expectation entrepreneurship, where disruptive technologies and high ambition meet will be crucially important to drive sustainable growth. Solving grand challenges like climate change, clean energy, and aging societies will add significant societal value while creating the opportunity to build and develop strong export led businesses”.

Prof. Curley pointed to the particular example of the Innovation Value Institute (IVI), which was jointly founded by Intel and NUI Maynooth. IVI, through its open innovation consortium of public, business, academic, and analyst partners, facilitates a collaborative community of like-minded peers committed to researching, advancing and disseminating frameworks, tools and best practices associated with managing IT Value and IT enabled Innovation.

Dr. Martin Schuurmans, Chairman of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) said, “The EIT is in wholehearted agreement that Ireland takes an aggressive stance towards entrepreneurship education. In these testing economic times, Ireland’s ability to successfully harness its innovation and entrepreneurship capabilities cannot afford to be found wanting. The EIT is determined to act as a key driver of EU sustainable growth and competitiveness through the stimulation of world-leading innovation and entrepreneurship”.

The EIT was established in 2008 by the European Commission as the centre of excellence to reshape the European Innovation landscape and to provide solutions to bridge the innovation gap. It has already been hailed as the most significant initiative to advance European Innovation performance in the last decade. Recently, the EIT launched its first three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) and Intel Labs Europe is delighted to be a participant in two of these (Sustainable Energy: KIC InnoEnergy, and Future information and communication society: EIT ICT Labs).

Minister Eamon Ryan T.D. said, “Ireland’s future prosperity demands that we look towards knowledge and the smart application of knowledge as core components of Ireland’s ‘smart economy’. This has, at its core, an exemplary research, innovation and commercialisation ecosystem. The objective is to make Ireland an innovation and commercialisation hub in Europe – a country that combines the features of an attractive home for innovative R&D-intensive multinationals, while also being a highly-attractive incubation environment for the best entrepreneurs in Europe and beyond. Rather than be seen as a redundant and jaded term, Ireland’s ‘smart economy’ is a reality and its survival depends upon mutual cooperation between knowledge and industry bodies”.

Professor John Hughes, President of NUI Maynooth, said a key traditional role of universities is to generate and disseminate knowledge; however this must now be complemented by universities that help apply knowledge through teaching and enabling entrepreneurship. “This book shines a light for those that wish to understand knowledge driven entrepreneurship”, he concluded.

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