Sean McCarthy


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Dr. Sean McCarthy has been involved in all aspects of European Research since 1980. He has been active as a researcher, research manager, research group leader, and company director. Today he specialises in helping organisations design and implement their European Research Strategies.

In 2017 the European Commission published a list of the top 100 universities and research organisations participating in Horizon 2020. Dr. McCarthy has delivered training courses in 74 of these top 100 universities and research organisations.

Since 1995 over 80,000 participants have attended his courses in 29 countries. He has presented training courses on the Framework programmes in over 290 research centres throughout Europe (

EARMA Professional Recognition Award (2017)

EARMA (European Association of Research Managers and Administrators) made this award in recognition of his 'outstanding contribution to the research management and administration profession'.

His main day-to-day work can be summarised as follows:


Analysing European Research Policy


Analysing the Strategies of European Research Organisations (direct visits)


Participation in European Associations (EARTO, EARMA)


Designing Training Course material based on the evolving European Research Policies


Designing websites to support European Research Strategies


Designing European Research Strategies and delivering the  training courses.

Hyperion Ltd.

Dr. McCarthy established Hyperion Ltd. in 1988 to commercialise the technologies he developed as a researcher. The company has been profitable since year 1 and has never received any state subsidies. The initial focus of Hyperion was on Renewable Energy technologies and Data Monitoring systems for industrial applications. In the mid-1990's he was invited by the Irish and Finnish Ministries of Industry to study the interface between research and industry. This experience help him identify a niche in designing specialised training courses for researchers. Since 2010 he has expanded his activities to designing European Research Strategies for Universities, Research Centres and Large Companies.

EARTO (European Research and Technology Organisations)

Dr. McCarthy is a member of EARTO. EARTO represents 350 of the top research centres in Europe. Prominent members include VTT (Finland), TNO (Netherlands), Fraunhofer Institutes (Germany) and Sintef (Norway). As a board member, he is in direct contact with the Presidents of these organisation in discussing future  European Research Strategies. He is a member of the EARTO Task Force on Horizon 2020.

EARMA (European Association of Research Managers and Administrators)

Dr. McCarthy presents training courses in association with EARMA. He presents the latest developments in European Research Policy at their annual conferences (since 2002). At the EARMA 2017 conference (2017) he received an award for his contribution to the profession.

European Research Organisations ( )

Since 1997, Dr. McCarthy has visited over 90 research centres every year. He is booked by the European research support offices. This experience has given him invaluable insight into the issues affecting research organisations. After each training course a discussion is held to discuss the research organisation's research strategies. This information is analysed and used to improve the design of the training programme.

European Union Expertise

bulletSince 1980 Dr. McCarthy has been involved in over 150 EU R&D Proposal, over 50 projects and managed 16 of these.
bulletHe has acted as scientific evaluator for 10 different EU R&D Programmes.
bulletHe was an external evaluator of the following networks; Innovation Relay Centres, OPET Network (Energy) and the 50  Regional Innovation Strategies.

Scientific Background:

bulletPhD in Electrical Engineering and Microelectronics (University College Cork and NMRC (now Tyndall)) (1986)
bulletResearch topics covered photovoltaic systems, batteries, energy crops,  electronic monitoring systems and computer modelling.
bulletFellow of the Institution of Irish Engineers 

Management  Background:

bullet Dr. McCarthy has been responsible for the management of over 130 industrial and research projects. He participated in over 50 EU R&D contracts and was project coordinator for  16 R&D EU projects.

Innovation Policy  Background:

Dr. McCarthy has completed the following assignments for National and EU Policy Makers.

bulletInnovation in Finland: Strategies for Networking (An International Evaluation), 1998 (Client: Ministry of Trade and Industry, Finland)
bulletInnovation Strategy for the 12 Institutes of Technology, Ireland 1998 (Client: Enterprise Ireland)
bulletInnovation in Enterprises: An Action Plan for Ireland 1998 (Client: FORFAS, Ireland)
bulletEvaluation of the EU Innovation Programme 1997 (Client: European Commission)
bulletObstacle to Mobility between Academia and Indusry, 2000 (Client: European Commission)
bulletChairman of the Advisory Group on Innovation, 1997 (Appointed by FORFAS, Ireland)

The main conclusion from all of these studies was the need for specialised training for researchers and research organisations. This was the basis for designing the training programmes. Since 2000 Dr. McCarthy has been studying and following European research policy debates but did not participate in any further policy groups.

Presentations and Publications

A complete list of recent business and research publications can be found on 

Twitter Page

Youtube of Training Sessions

bullet Interview about Framework 7 Proposal Course
bullet Interview about Management Course
bullet Interview about Getting Ready for Horizon 2020
bullet Drawing the Triangle for the Courses

Articles about Seán McCarthy

bullet UCC Alumni Profile