Belfast Telegraph

Irish academics 'trail in research'

Irish academics have been branded bottom of the class in a global study of researchers.

Despite the government's claims about Ireland's prowess in knowledge and innovation, the survey shows big business is putting its cash into overseas universities.

In fact, Irish academics attracted the smallest amounts of money from companies for carrying out research in a league of 30 countries.

The study was carried out by London-based Times Higher Education magazine head of its World Academic Summit in October, which will discuss the relationship between big business and universities.

It found that university researchers in South Korea, ranked first in the world for attracting money, get on average 75,000 euro each for carrying out work for a company.

In second place Singapore academics attract an average of 64,000 euro each, while researchers in the Netherlands, ranked third, can expect 55,000 euro.

At the very bottom of the league, Irish academics get an average of just over 6,000 euro from big business, meaning researchers here are valued as much as ten times less than top-ranking countries.

The UK also fared badly in the survey, coming in fourth from the bottom at 26th, while the US was 14th most valuable.

The Times Higher Education magazine said universities were increasingly looking to business for money to survive in an age of austerity.

"Working with business and industry to move their discoveries and ideas from the ivory towers into the real world - and to make a real social and economic impact - has become one of the most important functions of a modern university," said a spokesman.

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