Haste best made slowly with RD

“… Let’s start with what was an apparently urgent need to merge the research and development (RD) units at University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, a possibility hinted at in this newspaper in January and announced this week. It is widely understood that the Department of Education wished for less duplication of research efforts and greater efficiencies, as well as a faster return on its RD investments in universities and technical colleges. The Minister and Tánaiste Mary Coughlan were said to be impatient for such a merger and for other similar rationalisations across third-level research. Yet at the same time – and despite its recent laudable investment in technology- and science-focused RD – the State has a pathetic level of RD funding, ranking at the bottom of EU and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development levels. The Government is said to be annoyed at how slowly its RD cash converts into actual jobs. Good grief. Has anyone gone out and studied RD models in the private and public sectors elsewhere? …” (more)

[Karlin Lillington, Irish Times, 13 March]

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