Focus on impact of high-tech patents
IRELAND AND Singapore have both outpaced larger OECD countries in the registration of new patents.
A conference in Dublin today will hear that both countries successfully targeted high-tech foreign direct investment for the last 40 years, and now have higher average numbers of new patents than small EU member states and even large OECD countries.
While both countries invest significantly on research and development in universities and public institutes, the conference will also hear that multinationals draw more heavily on each other for their store of knowledge.
Addressing the ESRI conference on innovation, productivity and public policy, Prof Nola Hewitt-Dundas of Queen’s University Belfast will say the extent to which multinationals acquire knowledge from indigenous firms or from national universities is very limited. But the level of take-up of knowledge from local sources is slightly greater in Ireland than in Singapore, she found – roughly half compared to around one-third in the Asian state.
While she found that this data showed indigenous firms in both countries were “not sufficiently advanced to contribute to technological developments in foreign-owned firms”, she concluded there was room for optimism.
According to her analysis, the policy of targeting high-tech foreign investment “has been successful in building a concentration of businesses”. She concluded this was likely to help in embedding multinational enterprises in Ireland.
Prof Iulia Siedschlag, of the ESRI and Trinity College Dublin, will present a paper setting out the “crucial importance” of innovation for growth. The presentation is to include research on the links between innovation investment, innovation output and productivity in services.