Belfast Telegraph

Intel boss to lead funding project

A top-level group has been appointed by Government to identify research and development projects for public funding, it emerged.

Intel Ireland's general manager, Jim O'Hara, will head the team which has already begun work on a five-year plan for investment in research and 'smart' jobs.

Enterprise Minister Batt O'Keeffe revealed the research prioritisation steering group will identify up to 20 target schemes which the Government should focus its allocation of public funding.

He said he wants the group to focus on areas that will yield the best return for taxpayers' investment in research and, ultimately, create high-quality jobs.

"This year, the Government is investing 598 million euro on academic and commercially focused research and development spread across all Government departments and agencies," said Mr O'Keeffe.

"The steering group has now embarked on a major national exercise of structured stakeholder engagement which will set out where best to focus our work and tailor our investment.

"I have asked the steering group to overlook vested interests and place the Irish economy and society at the heart of the strategic consideration process.

"The group will draw on the experience of other countries in drawing up similar plans."

The steering group is said to draw on national and international expertise in the private and public sectors, as well as senior Government officials.

Work is expected to be completed within 12 months with an action plan for each priority area setting out specific goals over five years.

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