In 2012 the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, working with other Government Departments and incorporating the advice and information of a dedicated group of experts from industry, the venture capital community, research performing organisations and their technology transfer offices, the Irish Universities Association and the State research funding organisations, issued the publication ‘Putting public research to work for Ireland’, which has become to be known as the Intellectual Property Protocol. The Protocol's objectives are to simplify access by industry to the research and development done in Ireland's universities, institutes of technology and other public research institutions and to commercialise the intellectual property generated from such research and transform it into products and services for the global marketplace to the benefit of Ireland. The Protocol deals largely with collaborative research, where industry and research performing organisations (RPOs), such as universities, work together and where industry and the State share the cost of the research. Nonetheless, it also covers situations where the research costs are covered in full either by the State or by the industry. The Protocol applies equally to all forms of research and development activity, from pure and applied research through to incremental and near-market development.
Ireland’s universities are key players in the generation of new knowledge from research. Under the national strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation, the universities are also committed to collaboration with industry in commercialisation and technology transfer. Enterprise Ireland has national responsibility for maximising the commercialisation by industry of the intellectual property from public research organisations. The report ‘Putting Public Research to work for Ireland’ establishes a new policy framework to advance the generation and exploitation of IP emerging from the publicly funded research system. A key part of the infrastructure arising from the report is the establishment of Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI), which is the national office that helps business to benefit from access to Irish expertise and technology by making it simple to connect and engage with the research base in Ireland.