UCD Cantillon Research Centre for Entrepreneurship, Design and Innovation

The UCD Cantillon Research Centre for Entrepreneurship, Design and Innovation has been established to create and disseminate research-based knowledge of international significance and reputation in innovation-based entrepreneurship and design thinking. The Centre provides a hub for facilitating high-quality, multi-disciplinary collaborative research and publications, and will play an active role in contributing to public policy through knowledge dissemination and outreach.

The Cantillon Centre has been named after renowned Irish economist, Richard Cantillon, who coined the term "entrepreneur' in his seminal book ‘Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General’ (1755). The core activities of the Centre focus around six thematic areas where entrepreneurship, design and innovation play an important role, with a view that includes their global implications

This thematic area seeks improve a greater understanding of how science, technology and innovation policies support technological emergence, regional development and national economic growth. It aims to support the evidence needs of Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) policymakers, in particular those officials in public research agencies who are responsible for programme design, portfolio management and strategy development. 

Commercial exploitation of new knowledge is of central importance to the university, the government and funding agencies. This theme aims to develop understanding of the impact of policies, structures and practices in the management of commercialisation, accelerating technology transfer and entrepreneurship in a systematic and practical way. 

Recognising the complexity of growth strategies of new ventures and the need to instil entrepreneurship within established organisations, this thematic area will investigate the role of enabling factors such as leadership competences, knowledge creation, organisational design, and governance structures. It will have a focus on mapping the managerial and economic dynamics of scaling, together with an emphasis on explaining on how firms cultivate and sustain an entrepreneurial ecosystem 

Developing concentrations of innovation is central to Government thinking worldwide. The thematic area will have a focus on understanding the sources of success in regional clusters of entrepreneurship 

There is a growing interest in the impact of design-based thinking skills on enhancing competitiveness. Design thinking is a human-centred approach to innovation that attempts to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology and the requirements for business success. A big part of design thinking is design doing. Drawing from the IDEO framework of design thinking this thematic area focuses its efforts studying the following three topics: inspiration, ideation and implementation 

Social entrepreneurship is a growing phenomenon worldwide, involving the creation of hybrid organisations that pursue social missions via commercial business models. This research area will examine unique aspects of social enterprises, such as the integration of social and commercial business models, the scaling and measurement of social impact, and the dynamics of social and commercial enterprise competition for resources and customers. 

Advisory Board

The UCD Cantillon Research Centre for Entrepreneurship, Design and Innovation is pleased to announce the establishment of its advisory board, which brings together distinguished scholars, international policy makers as well as leading entrepreneurs/venture capitalists from industry. The role of the Advisory Board is to provide expertise and counsel to the core research and leadership team of the Centre.


Rory O'Shea  Academic Director of UCD Cantillon Centre
Petra Ahrweiler Director and CEO of the EA European Academy of Technology and Innovation Assessment Germany
Orla Byrne UCD College of Business
Joe Carthy College Principal and Dean of Science 
Amanda Gibney UCD School of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering
Ciaran Heavey UCD College of Business
Bruce Martin UCD College of Business
Jan Rosier Élan Professor of the Business of Biotechnology, UCD School Of Biomolecular & Biomed ScienceConway Institute
Esther Tippmann  UCD College of Business
Alession Cozzolino UCD College of Business

Research Advisory Board

Ciarán O'Hogartaigh  Dean, UCD College of Business
Hugh Campbell  Head of School, School of Architecture, College of Engineering and Architecture 
Orla Feely  Vice President of Research, Innovation and Impact and Professor of Engineering
David Fitzpatrick   Principal, College of Engineering and Architecture 

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