The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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'Reaffirming the knowledge-based economy'

27 April 2023

A research innovation symposium, organised by the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) and the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland (AmCham) took place yesterday at the Royal Irish Academy.

The US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards ran from 2015-22, as a successful joint initiative with the RIA and AmCham. To this end, the RIA and AmCham were pleased to present a half-day research innovation symposium on Wednesday, 26 April 2023 on the themes of sustainability, talent and digital progression to explore the spectrum of diverse perspectives on the current Foreign Direct Investment policy.

The contributors and attendees, which included policymakers, members of the RIA and AmCham, were welcomed to the Academy by Professor Pat Guiry, President of the RIA and Mark Redmond, CEO of AmCham.

The symposium began with a showcase session (watch here), chaired by Dr Jennifer Brennan, Research and Innovation Strategy Lead, Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications from previous winners of the US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards: 

  • Brian Mullan, Principal Data Scientist and Analytics Manager, Microsoft Ireland and Professor Rowan Fealy, Maynooth University for ‘Terrain – AI’; the winners of the 2022 Innovation in Sustainability Award.

  • Brendan Farley, MD EMEA & Corporate VP Wireless Engineering at AMD; winners of the 2018 US-Ireland Research Innovation Award for the Irish operations of a US headquartered and controlled multinational company. 

  • Dr Andrew Hines, Assistant Professor, University College Dublin for CONNECT Centre for Future Networks (Trinity College Dublin/Google); winners of the 2018 US-Ireland Research Innovation Award for an Irish Higher Education Institute or Research Centre with US corporate links.

The session was followed by a panel discussion (watch here) on innovation in digital and technology, chaired by Colm O'Callaghan, AmCham Director of Public Affairs and Advocacy, with panellists William Scanlon, CEO Tyndall National Institute, Siobhán Clarke MRIA, Professor of Software Systems Trinity College Dublin, Stephanie Anderson, Public Policy Manager, Meta and Emma Cramp EMEA Head of Privacy and Data Protection, MetLife.

An important discussion, chaired by Mary Kelly MRIA, Treasurer of the RIA, on the opportunities in the area of sustainability for Ireland also took place with John Magner, Global Leader in Energy and Sustainable Operations at Johnson & Johnson, Brian Norton MRIA, Professor of Solar Energy Applications, TU Dublin, Research Professor, University College Cork and Head of Energy Research, Tyndall National Institute and Brian Ó Gallachóir, Associate Vice President Sustainability University College Cork and Director of MaREI - watch here.

Economist Frances Ruane MRIA delivered a well-considered closing address which looked at the challenges and benefits of FDI to Irish society.

Watch the full recording of the research innovation symposium here.

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