Ireland's national innovation system: An exploratory study of supporting institutions and dynamic actors

Dimitrios Pontikakis, Thomas McDonnell, Will Geoghegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This paper begins with a brief look at the literature on national innovation systems (NIS). Building on the NIS approach, we present a simple conceptual framework. National innovative competence is dependent on the presence of dynamic STI actors, operating within the confines of compatible institutions. We distinguish the roles played by different STI actors and argue that heterogeneous actors engage in innovation for different reasons. Collaborative innovation is not always a natural consequence of engagement in innovation but is characterised by a distinct set of considerations. The latter part of the paper is concerned with the application of this conceptual framework to the case of Ireland. We identify the institutions pertaining to Ireland's current innovative performance. An outline of STI actors according to their role in the system is then presented. In turn we outline the various contributions of Irish STI actors and explore their motives for engaging in innovation and collaborative innovation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-58
Number of pages22
JournalPrometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Incentives
  • Innovation actors
  • Institutions
  • Ireland
  • National innovation system
  • Science and technology policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Research and Theory
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management


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