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The Centre for Innovation & Structural Change (CISC) is an interdisciplinary research centre at the National University of Ireland, Galway partnered by University College Dublin and Dublin City University Business School. CISC was formally launched at NUI, Galway by An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern T.D. on 1st March 2002.

CISC has been established to meet the analytical and policy challenges posed by change which emerges from knowledge-intensive innovation.
The origins and consequences of innovation and technological change can be interrogated at many levels, and interpreted from different perspectives. Thus, CISC�s research is interdisciplinary and its structure collaborative.

The complexity of innovation and structural change motivates CISC�s disciplinary openness and methodological diversity within the community of scholarship. Participants include economists, geographers, management scientists, as well as specialists in industrial relations, human resource management, and information systems.

CISC aims to be a centre for excellence in research and research training in the innovation processes and policies that underpin the knowledge-based economy and society.

Priority Research Areas at CISC

Research projects fall into five priority research areas:

1. Innovation Systems

The main goals of this priority area are to investigate the theoretical and operational aspects of innovation and structural change in Ireland, to analyse, measure and evaluate knowledge flows and other linkages within national and regional innovation systems as part of a programme of collaborative, interdisciplinary research, to identify the implications of this research for the framing of science, technology and innovation policy in Ireland and more widely, and to provide training for young and emerging researchers.

2. Industry clustering

The goals of this area are to develop a better understanding of the characteristics and performance of industry clusters as a newly identified source of competitive advantage in the global economy, to construct primary data sources for research in Ireland using longitudinal survey and case study approaches, with the potential for international comparative analysis, and to build expertise in collaboration with international researchers which is incorporated into undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programmes.

3. Internationally traded services

The goals of this area are to apply the new economic geography to an analysis of the spatial pattern of foreign direct investment in internationally traded services (ITS) in Ireland, to assess the �embeddedness� of ITS investment in the local economy and the role of indigenous firms in supply chain activity, outsourcing and penetration of global markets, to identify the public policy implications relating to spatial strategy, and to pursue new teaching and learning initiatives on the theme of the information economy.

4. Inter-organisational systems.

The goals of this area are to investigate the salient operational features of inter-firm networks and collaborative relationships, including those with a regional dimension, to determine the extent to which �inter-organisational systems� incorporating new information technologies facilitate the growth of flexible inter-firm networks and provide a platform for value-added partnerships, and to devise feedback loops between research and teaching so that course materials and delivery are informed by best practice in the area.

5. High performance work systems.

The goals of this priority research area are to examine the strategies and characteristics of high performance workplaces and their diffusion through organisational learning and social partnership, to assess the degree to which innovation and effectiveness are impeded by a growing �representation gap� at workplace level, to generate new sources of primary data, leading to an all-Ireland Workplace Employee Relations Survey, and to contribute to an emerging research and teaching focus in the management of human resources.

The HEA PRTLI funding of euro 2.8 million awarded to CISC in 2002 allows for the recruitment of a team of five Postdoctoral Research Fellows and twelve PhD students in both NUI Galway and in the partner institutions, UCD and DCU. to support projects in this areas. CISC is building on this substantial platform and has sourced other funding opportunities, including two projects funded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS), partnerships with CIMRU in the eNableSMEs project funded by Enterprise Ireland, involvement as Ireland�s representative as designated by Forfás in two OECD Technology Innovation Policy research programmes and the exploration of EU FP6 funding opportunities with a range of international partners and linkages.

Research projects at CISC are underpinned by an evolving research training programme and in turn inform teaching initiative at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the University and in the M.Sc. in Technology Management of the Atlantic University Alliance.