Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education in Ireland

image of Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education in Ireland

This report presents evidence-based analysis on Ireland’s higher education transformation process towards an innovative, interconnected and multidisciplinary entrepreneurial system, designed to empower its students and staff to demonstrate enterprise, innovation and creativity in teaching, research and societal engagement. Using the OECD-European Commission HEInnovate guidance for the entrepreneurial and innovative higher education institution, the report assesses strategies and practices for entrepreneurship and innovation in Ireland’s higher education institutions and the systemic support provided by government.

Higher education institutions play a critical role in Ireland’s economy and innovation system, which is based on a strong and growing engagement agenda with industry and local communities, the emergence of new learning environments and strong multidisciplinary research teams. This report offers practical recommendations on how Ireland can enhance and sustain the outcomes.



Executive summary

Higher education is changing across the European Union and OECD countries. Entrepreneurship and innovation in higher education are no longer only associated with business start-ups and technology transfer but are increasingly understood as core elements of a procedural framework for how organisations and individuals behave. For example, in how they create and nurture links between teaching and research, how they organise engagement and knowledge exchange, how they manage effective partnerships with a range of stakeholders, and how they support nascent entrepreneurs. Transforming (traditional) higher education institutions (HEIs) into entrepreneurial and innovative organisations is neither an easy nor a straightforward endeavour. Major obstacles may lie deep in the higher education system, for example if knowledge exchange and engagement with business and society are not included in the HEI’s core functions or core funding.


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