Press Release

New plans for health research will focus on improving public health, transforming our health services and supporting new enterprise and the economy over the next five years

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD today, 4th November, 2009, launched the Government’s new ‘Action Plan for Health Research’ together with the Health Research Board’s strategic business plan.

Launching the reports, the Minister said “Research is a catalyst for positive change, driving innovation that leads to a better standard of living and well being. Notwithstanding economic difficulties, the Government remains committed to supporting the research and innovation agenda, because it will support future economic growth and position us to attract investment and jobs to Ireland.

“Health Research also delivers improved population health outcomes and better services for patients. To harness the practical health, social and economic benefits from a health research perspective, we must develop an integrated and focused health research system. The Action Plan for Health research launched today represents the culmination of engagement across Government with the objective of positioning Ireland as a leading international location for health research and ensuring that the benefits of innovation and research are secured for patients.

“Together these plans provide the road map to improve people‚Äôs health and transform the delivery of care. We also aim to drive our international competitiveness and support economic growth across the pharmaceutical, medical devices and other life sciences sectors.”

Speaking about the launch of the new Health Research Board strategic business plan, Enda Connolly, Chief Executive at the HRB said, “Health research has a major role to play in health system innovation and economic development. Our ambition is to put health research at the heart of the health system This will improve people’s health, change how we deliver patient care, ensure evidence is applied in policy and medical practice and create opportunities for new enterprise to support our economy.”

The Action Plan for Health Research focuses on five key deliverables: –

  • Providing national leadership for health research
  • Developing capacity in the health services
  • Building academic and enterprise links with the health research sector
  • Reforming the health research governance structure
  • Turning research outcomes into health benefits and health gains.

Read the Report

The HRB business plan report has been developed in tandem with the Action Plan and will see the HRB play a key role in the further development of health research capacity in Ireland. The HRB Plan outlines four clear supporting goals:-

  • Developing clinical research capacity within the health system
  • Increasing capacity in population health and health services research
  • Delivering information and evidence to support decision making
  • Generating evidence and promoting application of new knowledge in policy and practice

The business plan is available at the HRB website.


The Action Plan for Health Research was developed by the Health Research Group (HRG). The HRG was established in 2007 by the Ministers for Health and Children and Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The Group’s purpose is to ensure that health research in Ireland is co-ordinated, prioritised and focussed and that national policies and strategies for health research are framed strategically in the context of the wider science, technology and innovation agenda.