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Innovation Policy Simulation for the Smart Economy (IPSE)

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This PRTLI5-funded project (2011-2016) will undertake cutting-edge research on the needs of the Irish economy to breed an innovation ecosystem with optimally structured university-industry-government networks.

Lead investigator is IRU at University College Dublin. External collaborators are University of Surrey, UK and University of Hohenheim, Germany.

The IPSE project combines empirical research on issues identified as important for Irish innovation performance with computational methods such as network analysis, agent-based modelling and social simulation, to implement and test innovation policy scenarios.

We use agent-based modelling (ABM) building on SKIN – a powerful and innovative methodology which gains more and more prominence in the scientific community – to identify and understand the effects of certain innovation policy strategies and their associated knowledge dynamics. In contrast to conventional methods of social research, ABM provides us with a “computational laboratory” that is capable of dealing with the high complexity and non-linearity of the processes under study. The modelling tasks of all empirical sub-projects will provide the pilot studies for IRU’s Computational Policy Lab. Lab users address research questions that involve different levels of the Irish ecosystem: from start-up firms (micro level) to academic-industry partnerships (meso level) to whole sectors or regions (macro level). IRU’s Lab informs simulation with large empirical data sets. Our project concerns the whole cycle of innovation including R&D investment, knowledge production and invention, firm level innovation and entrepreneurship, demand-driven features of innovation, and policy and governance issues.

SKIN-based simulations in IPSE will include:

  • Dublin regional network investigating the mechanisms and optimising strategies to improve it;
  • comparison of Irish and Northern-Irish local high-tech clusters
  • innovation and technology adoption concerning novel techniques for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

First results will be reported here and on http://casl.ucd.ie/iru/index.php/prtli-ipse