The Research & Innovation Conference & Exhibition was held earlier this week. It was a busy day, especially as this year the conference was co-located with the inaugural National Health Expo. Each of the events had a main stage and several seminar rooms where talks were held throughout the day. With a line-up of over 100 speakers it’s an event worth attending as a team, because so many interesting talks were on simultaneously!
At the “Finance, Supports, Collaboration and Business Intelligence” session, Conor McTiernan of Letterkenny Institute of Technology spoke about knowledge transfer. He discussed how the old slogan “knowledge is power” is being replaced by a culture of “sharing is power”. The importance of research, development and innovation to Ireland was emphasised throughout. Brendan Lawlor of Innovation 21 quoted the statistic that companies investing in innovation have export levels 10 times greater than Enterprise Ireland’s client average. However, Mark O’Sullivan of BDO Ireland noted that R&D doesn’t always follow a straight path. Nevertheless, as Ian Collins of EY Ireland noted during his talk on the main stage, Irish R&D is among the best in class internationally.
Speaking at the session on “Innovation” was one of our highlights from last year’s event, Paidi O’Reilly from UCC. This year he spoke about Innovative Thinking. Moving from ‘playing not to lose’ to ‘playing to win’. Also in this session were talks from Dolmen Design on how innovation requires both invention and implementation.
In addition to the talks there was a bustling hall of 60 exhibitors including IRDG (Industry Research + Development Group), the Irish Research Council, Maynooth University and many more.
We also attended the Research & Innovation Conference & Exhibition in 2016, and it is great to see it continue to succeed and to grow with the addition of the National Health Expo. We collected tweets about both events in a Storify summary (see the full collection here):