About ISSP

ISSP research focuses on three strongly inter-related areas of recognised national importance: Building of the knowledge society/economy; supporting sustainable communities; and promoting balanced regional and rural development and competitiveness. These themes are tied-together and examined in relation to the concepts of innovation, spatial strategies and inclusion providing a comprehensive understanding of contemporary Ireland.

Knowledge Society

The creation of a knowledge society is a central pillar of government policy and its attainment is critical to Ireland's continued economic prosperity (as acknowledged in Building Ireland's Knowledge Economy; Ahead of the Curve: Ireland's Place in the Global Economy; Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2006-2013). A knowledge society is a complex and multifaceted aspiration encompassing local, regional, national and international aims and foci, embracing service provision and trade, organisational artefacts, information and communication technologies, and work systems. Understanding the complexity of the intertwined processes required to create and sustain a knowledge society is still far from complete. The programme encompasses a coherent set of comparative and applied research projects that focus on the processes, components, and drivers of a knowledge society and economy. The outcomes of the research will be utilized to inform policy making so as to ensure that Ireland can maximise the return on investment indicated within the National Development Plan and the National Spatial Strategy. The programme also has a critical role to play in educating the next generation of policy makers, thus assisting Ireland to stay ahead of the curve in the emerging global knowledge economy.

Sustaining Communities

Over the past decade or so, Ireland has undergone rapid transformation of its social landscape. New wealth, new immigration, large-scale transformations of the housing market in the South and cross-border peace and reconciliation process in the North have led to a range of new social, cultural and economic issues. Agencies such as NESC, Forfas and the National Competitiveness Council have emphasised the effects of social and community issues on economic and environmental development and the Taskforce on Active Citizenship highlighted the importance of planning for strong communities in order to facilitate and promote civic engagement. It is increasingly recognised that the future of society will depend on the economic, social and civic participation of hitherto marginalized populations. Ensuring high levels of social inclusion is a major task, requiring high quality research which influences policy and practice. It is possible to undertake this research with a life cycle framework that examines cumulative advantages and disadvantages over the lifetime of individuals. This programme develops insights into forces that promote participation in economic and social life, particularly in relation to the labour market and voluntary activity; the development of social capital, trust and democracy; investment in healthy communities; and an understanding of alienation and integration at varying scales for marginalized communities.

Balanced Regional and Rural Development

As promoted by the European Union through the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP), the Cohesion Reports, EU Rural Development policy and The Territorial Agenda of the European Union - Towards a More Competitive and Sustainable Europe of Diverse Regions, coherent and well-coordinated spatial and sectoral planning are key drivers of economic competitiveness, territorial cohesion and balanced local and regional development. The Irish response has been the National Development Plan, A Strategy for Rural Development, the National Spatial Strategy in the Republic of Ireland, the Regional Development Strategy in Northern Ireland, Spatial Strategies on the Island of Ireland new planning guidelines, and a myriad of individual projects, many of which are funded through INTERREG programmes. This programme undertakes research to guide spatial and sectoral strategy formulation that is needed to produce balanced and sustainable development across the island of Ireland in the long term. In doing so, it continues the partners' strong track record of contributing to key debates and policy, and training employees of the public and private sectors in spatial planning and development issues, thus helping to shape regional and rural patterns of development into the future.

Knowledge Society

Balanced Regional & Rural Development

Sustaining Communities

Innovation
Dublin City University
NUI Galway
NUI Galway
NUI Galway
Spatial Strategies
NUI Maynooth
IT Sligo
NUI Galway
NUI Maynooth
Queens University Belfast
Mary Immaculate College
University of Limerick
IT Sligo
NUI Galway
NUI Maynooth
Inclusion
University of Limerick
NUI Galway
NUI Maynooth
University of Limerick
University College Cork
University of Limerick
University College Cork

 
ISSP Sponsors: