Irish Research Council (IRC) 2014 Conference

Nov 19 2014
Irish Research Council (IRC) 2014 Conference

Participation of Ms. Madi Sharma as the key note speaker at the IRC 2014 Conference on partnering enterprises, government and civil society




The Irish Research Council which was established in March 2012 has been given a number of very specific roles within the national research landscape. The Council, as set out on its appointment, has 'the broad remit of supporting and enhancing human capital development, in particular at postgraduate and early stage postdoctoral researcher levels, and in encouraging independent exploratory research across the full range of disciplines spanning the humanities, social sciences, business, law, sciences, engineering and technology.'


The Council supports a pipeline of early stage career researchers through our very competitive funding programmes and a key part of this endeavour involves partnering with employers who co-fund researchers in their formative years. In order to future proof Ireland, we also work to support a baseline pool of excellent researchers and develop expertise in all disciplines from the Arts to Zoology. Initiatives to support research across, and between, disciplines for societal and economic benefit is an increasing focus for the Council. As a consequence of all these strands of activity, a diversity of skills, talent and expertise both within and outside the higher education system are made available to enterprise, the public sector (across all of government) and broader civic society by partnering with enterprise, the public sector and civic society.


The Conference was divided into two parts. The first one was more of an introductory one and the second part was a panel discussion, where I presented my ideas for innovation and entrepreneurship.


My presentation focused on collaboration, coordination and communication to have an inclusive society that solves the challenges of today and the future. The problems will not be solved by politicians but by people and civil society organisations working together. Business, trade unions, academia, communities and governments all working together, and not working in boxes, will be required for sustainable and equitable growth.

‘’Innovation and solutions for challenges we face today and tomorrow will not come from politicians – they will come from you, and me – from real people and entrepreneurs. The 21st century is the Era of Co “ collaborate, cooperation, communication “ as such, we need to work together to implement the innovation for the benefit of society.  Our role in the European Economic and Social Committee is bringing together all civil society stakeholders to build a consensus.’’


My recommendations were:

  • To request greater collaboration with business , better communication on how business could access University facilities and knowledge, and human capital to create more innovation, growth and jobs
  • To use terminology which was understandable by all, making Universities less elite and distant from civil society
  • Promoting support between universities and community developments, especially with social entrepreneurs
  • To question why qualifications and experience were a necessity in research work
  • To work on funding projects with businesses and communities to address challenges much faster.


Other speakers included Ms Colleen Dube, Executive Director, Fulbright Commission, Dr Elizabeth M. Daly, Research Scientist, IBM Research, Professor Poul Holm, Professor of Humanities, Trinity College Dublin, Professor Catherine Lyall, Science Technology & Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh, Dr Henk A J Mulder, Science Education & Communication, Science & Civic Society,

University of Groningen, Dr Padraig Murphy, School of Communications, Dublin City University, Professor Catherine Lyall, Science Technology & Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh, Ms Ann O’Dea, Co-founder and CEO of Silicon Republic , Professor John Brewer (QUB), Ms Deirdre Garvey, CEO, The Wheel, Dr William Hynes, Managing Director, Future Analytics Consulting, Mr. Eoin Kilfeather, Dublin Institute of Technology (DECIPHER Project) and Dr David Prendergast, Intel Research.


My interview with Silicon Republic can be found here




Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information


Thank you for this great opportunity to introduce the EESC’s work on civil society and collaboration as a tool for sustainable growth. .


Madi  x


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