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Recommendations for cross-border innovation policies in Ireland-Northern Ireland

Cross-border area: Use the all-island definition to include innovation hubs, building on relevant statistics and policy intelligence, to stimulate co-operation and measure its progress

  • • Use the all-island definition, as opposed to the narrow border area definition, for cross-border innovation support so as to capitalise on the innovation hubs on both sides.
  • • Continue to provide relevant analyses and statistics on the progress of cross-border flows, in addition to strategic policy intelligence.
  • • Identify complementary strengths on both sides of the border to stimulate bottom-up cross-border co-operation.

Governance: Build on InterTradeIreland’s experience for greater cross-border policy intelligence and more strategic use of innovation-related EU funds (European Territorial Co-operation and Cohesion Funds)

  • • Adopt a more strategic use of the innovation-related European Territorial Co-operation funds, including by involving InterTradelreland as a partner to deliver certain programmes.
  • • Bring the cross-border dimension explicitly into respective efforts for innovation strategy development, such as the current “smart specialisation” strategies, and incorporate the cross-border dimension in mainstream EU Structural Funds programmes.
  • • Demonstrate the cross-border “additionality” gained through InterTradelreland instruments, as a basis for future policy development.

Innovation policies and instruments: Ensure consistency of cross-border efforts with strategic objectives, consider cross-border elements in certain domestic policies, build greater bottom-up cross-border support and target InterTradelreland’s efforts by technology or sector

  • • Ensure cross-border policies and projects are in line with the strategic objectives of both jurisdictions for greater impact and sustainability.
  • • Consider the cross-border dimension in the programmes managed by Enterprise Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland where relevant, as a complement to the work of InterTradelreland.
  • • Encourage stronger cross-border leadership and financing by private and non-profit stakeholders.
  • • Target InterTradelreland programmes towards technologies, research fields, sectors or value chains of particular cross-border value added.


InterTradeIreland (2013), “Background report for OECD study on cross-border regional innovation policies: Ireland/Northern Ireland”, InterTradeIreland, January.

Irish Academy of Engineering and InterTradeIreland (2010), An Infrastructure for an Island Population of 8 Million.

Nauwelaers, C., K. Maguire and G. Ajmone Marsan (2013), “The case of Ireland- Northern Ireland (United Kingdom) - Regions and Innovation: Collaborating Across Borders”, OECD Regional Development Working Papers, No. 2013/20, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2013), OECD Regional Statistics (database), data-en.

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