IPSE Sub-Project 3:

SP3: Firm level innovation and entrepreneurship


The primary objective of this sub-project is to advance Irish competitiveness by empirically exploring the processes through which innovation strategies of entrepreneurs can create and capture economic value.

Description of work

Our research will be led by three research teams from within UCD. Each team will address one of three core research problems, which in combination cast empirical light upon the processes of value creation and economic value capture for innovative firms and university spin-outs both within Irish and international competitive settings. Firstly, we will investigate under what conditions entrepreneurs and firms benefit from the successes and failures of their own innovation projects; and how learning from these successes and failures impacts R&D productivity, profitability and value creation. Secondly, we will study why some universities are better than others at commercialising university intellectual property via the creation of start-up companies. Finally, we will address the question of how the risks in the innovation process impact on value creation in internationally traded services.


Analysing the impacts of successes and failures of innovation projects

The strategy group of UCD Business School and supported by the finance group of UCD Business School will address the first research problem mentioned above. We will use a dataset of the entire bio-pharmaceutical industry to understand the conditions under which innovation setbacks can be converted from failure events into positive long-term value creation. Such an understanding is of central importance to the long-term viability of the Irish bio-pharmaceutical sector.

Analysing the antecedents to the commercialisation of university-based research

This will be managed by the entrepreneurship group at UCD and MIT. Technology transfer and the commercialisation of university research is a fundamental part of Ireland’s emerging industrial development strategy- in terms of both the development of an indigenous base of firms in sectors such as bio-technology and ICT, and in terms of attracting high value-added inward foreign direct investment. However, investments in the third and fourth level education system and the funding of research projects and institutes has occurred in a vacuum in that there is an incomplete understanding of how such investments will lead to the anticipated industrial development benefits. The objective of this task is to identify and understand the antecedents to the commercialisation of university-based research.

Analysing the impacts of risks in the innovation process on value creation in internationally traded services

This task will be addressed by the operations and services management group at UCD Business School. We will examine the innovation process in internationally traded service value chains and develop models of risk mitigation that can be applied across a variety of settings.