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Address by John Perry, T.D., Minister for Small Business at the NSAI Conference on the role of standards in Research, Development & Innovation (RDI)

13th February 2013: Standards are essential for small business as they help them compete on a level playing-field with larger enterprises - Perry

Standards are essential for small business as they help them compete on a level playing-field with larger enterprises - Perry

  • Standards can open export markets and provide opportunities to participate in global supply chains, while also adding credibility and inspiring consumer confidence
  • Research, Development and Innovation is a significant element of economic activity and societal well-being, which are key priorities for Business, Government and Society

Check Against Delivery

13th February 2013

Good Morning Chairmen, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Welcome to the NSAI Conference on the Role of standards in Research, Development and Innovation.

I am delighted to be here this morning at what is an official event under Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

I want to say “Thank You” to NSAI Chairman Ann Riordan for inviting me, and to the NSAI staff who organised this very important Conference.

I want to especially welcome, the members of:

  • The European Standards Organisations’ Joint Presidents Group and;
  • The American National Standards Institute

These two Groups met here yesterday, and will share their vast knowledge and expertise with us today.

As Minister for Small Business, I cannot emphasise enough, the role Standards play in Research, Development and Innovation for both large businesses and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises or SMEs.

SMEs are the backbone of all our respective economies and communities – whether it is your local greengrocer, printing company or software start-up. In Ireland alone, SMEs employ over 650,000 people and contribute €10 billion to the Exchequer each year.

Standards are essential for small business as they help them compete on a level playing-field with larger enterprises.

Standards can open export markets and provide opportunities to participate in global supply chains, while also adding credibility and inspiring consumer confidence.

The Irish Government is very much committed to Research, Development and Innovation. This is evident in the €385 million Capital Allocation in 2013, to support Research Funding Programmes under my Department’s Vote - the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

This funding will support Research, Development and Innovation activities delivered by a number of Agencies including, Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, IDA Ireland, the Tyndall National Institute and the Higher Education Authority.

Investing in Science, Technology and Innovation Programmes is essential to returning to economic growth.

The essence of Innovation is to turn ideas into tangible assets, to enhance products, processes and services.

Research, Development and Innovation is a significant element of economic activity and societal well-being, which are key priorities for Business, Government and Society.

These three groups face many challenges in areas such as Sustainability, Nanotechnologies, Water Resources, Data Security, and Energy. The explosion of the Internet, Social Media and On-Line Services has given rise to a new set of challenges for both industry and consumers.

Standards have an important role to play, in terms of assisting businesses to be more competitive through enabling workers to be more productive.

Standards also help to communicate essential state-of-the-art knowledge to Research, Development and Innovation professionals to address these challenges.

The NSAI – Ireland’s State Standards Agency - are available to assist the Irish Research, Development and Innovation community in its efforts, in this regard.

I hope that you find today’s Conference very informative and that you will leave here with a greater understanding of the benefits that Standards can have for your businesses, especially with regard to Research, Development and Innovation.

I want to particularly thank all of the Speakers here this morning for giving of their time and expertise.

I want to again thank Ann Riordan, Maurice Buckley, CEO and all the team at the NSAI, for organising the Conference.

I want to wish the members of the European Standards Organisations’ Joint Presidents Group and the American National Standards Institute, a safe journey home.

Finally, I hope that you will have an enjoyable and fruitful day. I wish you all every success in your future endeavours.

Thank You

ENDS

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