RCSI sets plans to increase links with industry

Plan to improve college’s ability to link with companies that can commercialise discoveries

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland has launched a strategy that will help it transfer research discoveries more quickly into clinical practice. It will also improve the college's ability to link with companies that can commercialise discoveries.

The college launched its plan, Improving Human Health - RCSI's Strategy for Excellence in Translational Research 2014-2020, earlier today (WED).

It did not allocate additional funding in support of its goals but is backing the approach with in-house resources, says Prof Ray Stallings, director of research at the college.

"The plan is to make it much easier for industry to engage with the college," he says. "We will be taking a much more proactive approach to making links with companies."


The strategy also places a strong emphasis on tapping into the EU’s research budget Horizon 2020. “This is a huge target for us,” Prof Stallings says.

The college has 400 scientist and clinician researchers working in its research institute, said Damien English, Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation.

It was important that Ireland keep with the research agenda despite the difficulties caused by reduced budgets and rising research costs because it leads to improved treatments for patients and also the possibility of new companies and jobs, he said.

The focus is on translational research which involves bringing research discoveries through to a product or service that can be used in the clinic. This in turn opens up the possibility of forming companies that can commercialise the discoveries, hence the importance of the links with industry, Prof Stalling says.

It also serves the educational mission of the college, to deliver high quality training for students working in a real-world environment that serves the needs of patients and wider society.

Dick Ahlstrom

Dick Ahlstrom

Dick Ahlstrom, a contributor to The Irish Times, is the newspaper's former Science Editor.