Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education in Ireland

In series:OECD Skills Studiesview more titles

Published on October 23, 2017

This report presents evidence-based analysis on Ireland’s higher education transformation process towards an innovative, interconnected and multidisciplinary entrepreneurial system, designed to empower its students and staff to demonstrate enterprise, innovation and creativity in teaching, research and societal engagement. Using the OECD-European Commission HEInnovate guidance for the entrepreneurial and innovative higher education institution, the report assesses strategies and practices for entrepreneurship and innovation in Ireland’s higher education institutions and the systemic support provided by government.Higher education institutions play a critical role in Ireland’s economy and innovation system, which is based on a strong and growing engagement agenda with industry and local communities, the emergence of new learning environments and strong multidisciplinary research teams. This report offers practical recommendations on how Ireland can enhance and sustain the outcomes.


Preface by Mary Mitchell O'Connor and John Halligan
Preface by Mari Kiviniemi and Martine Reicherts
Abbreviations and acronyms
Reader's guide
Executive summary
Overview of the Irish higher education system
Applying HEInnovate to higher education in Ireland
Enhancing the organisational capacity of Ireland's higher education institutions
Building entrepreneurial capacity through teaching and learning
Enhancing the impact of Ireland's higher education institutions
HEInnovate framework and good practice statements
Powered by OECD iLibrary

On 23 October 2017, the OECD-EC report on Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Higher Education in Ireland was launched in Dublin in presence of Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Irish Minister of State for Higher Education, Mari Kiviniemi, OECD's Deputy Secretary-General and Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva, Director for Innovation, International Cooperation and Sport Directorate-General for Education an Culture of the European Commission.

Press release


Mari Kiviniemi's speech

Key recommandations

For public policy action

      • Enhance collaboration between policy structures and state agencies.
      • Broaden the scope for multi- and transdisciplinary research initiatives in research priorities.
      • Review current employment control restrictions in higher education to allow for enhanced.
      • Continue targeted state investment in internationalisation initiatives.
      • Support HEIs in creating collaborative and mentor links with innovative and entrepreneurial HEIs abroad.
      • Introduce a system-wide exercise to document and assess the impact of entrepreneurship and innovation.


For higher education institutions

      • Expand entrepreneurship education across all disciplines.
      • Increase the number of places available on venture creation programmes, particularly for students and alumni.
      • Incentivise and support staff engagement in knowledge exchange activities.
      • Enhance collaboration with small and medium-sized enterprises through a single “front door” approach.



For further information or comment, please contact:

Journalists should contact the OECD's Media Relations Division at (33) 1 45 24 97 00 or



Find out more