The Centre for Innovation and 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.
The key objective of CISC is to build an internationally recognised programme of research and research training on the innovation processes and policies that are fundamental to the development of a knowledge-based economy. CISC has been awarded competitive funding of Euro 2.8 million under the Irish Government's Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) of the Higher Education Authority
Research at CISC is organised under a number of themes, or 'Priority Research Areas'. There are currently five priority research areas at CISC. These areas fall within the broad rubric of 'innovation and structural change' but reflect different emphases of research: the areas generally move from a more macro focus at the level of national systems of innovation to intermediate and micro levels of analysis in other research areas, concentrating for example on the clustering of industries in regions and/or processes and behaviours at the level of individual enterprises.
Each priority research area constitutes a broad theme of enquiry, and specific research projects and research related events are associated with these themes. Further details are accessible via the links below.
Priority research areas
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 principal vehicle for research training at CISC is the PhD programme undertaken by those funded through CISC related projects. At NUI Galway, PhD students may be affiliated to either the Faculty of Commerce or the Faculty of Arts.
In the Faculty of Commerce, entry to the PhD programme is now generally structured through the degree of M.Phil
Other specific research training activities including courses organised by the Staff Training and Development function in the University's Human Resources Department, and elements of the regular programme of seminars/workshops organised at CISC.