Senator Aisling Dolan, Fine Gael Seanad spokesperson on Further & Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science has welcomed the decision to appoint a new Government Science Adviser.
Applications have now closed for the appointment, but it is expected a new adviser will be appointed early in the New Year.
Senator Aisling Dolan stated: “Ireland funds excellent scientific research, as indicated by the 2022 annual report from Science Foundation Ireland. At a global level, Ireland ranks fourth in immunology, fourth in nanoscience, and second for agricultural research.
“The high level of SFI, International and Horizon Europe of research awards to principal investigators and their research teams of postdocs, PhDs and Masters’ students shows the incredible research in Irish universities across the country. This international mobile community of researchers see Ireland as the place to achieve excellence in their chosen fields.
“We need to maintain that focus on excellence, hard won over the past twenty years when funding was scarcer for third level research.
“At a recent Joint Oireachtas Education Committee official from Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science pointed out an increase of 81% in research expenditure since 2010.
“This spend in research and innovation is crucial to strengthen Ireland’s ranking on innovation and further increases are needed. Our economic success in many industries is based on a solid foundation of research and development, as SMEs, and larger enterprise work with universities to stay a step ahead.
“Together with the establishment of the new Research & Innovation Ireland agency, both this role and the new agency will be gamechangers for Ireland.
“The Government Science Advisor will chair the National Science Forum of experts on global challenges and make the case for investment in these areas. This forum will also assist cross-government departments to provide additional scientific input.
“We see across the world that many countries are in turbulent times, and we need investment in research to tackle global challenges which have an impact on Ireland. Minister Simon Harris has stated that science can drive job creation, grow the economy, help us tackle significant societal challenges, and ensure Ireland is at the cutting-edge of new technologies and industries", Senator Dolan concluded.