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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Lero chief calls on Irish business to participate in EU €72 billion research initiative

 Irish business needs to prepare now if it is to benefit from a €72 billion EU research initiative which commences in January 2014. The call was made today (Monday, 14th October) by Professor Mike Hinchey, director of Lero – the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre. He was speaking at a visit by EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn to the Lero Industry Research Day at the University of Limerick.

“One of the unheralded achievements of the Irish presidency of the EU was the agreement of a 25% increase in the budget for research and innovation,” commented Prof Hinchey. “The Horizon 2020 project commences in January 2014 and I appeal to Irish business to participate with universities to exploit this major opportunity.”

EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: "Research not only tackles the big challenges that society is facing, but can also develop local economies and create local jobs.”

She added: “Institutions and companies here in Co. Limerick are on track to receive
over 21.5 million Euro in funding from the EU's  7th Framework Programme. This money has supported 63 projects in total of which the University of Limerick is involved in 47, bringing in some 17.3 million Euro of EU funding to its labs and research facilities."

Prof Hinchey paid tribute to Commissioner Maire Geoghegan- Quinn for her role in driving Horizon 2020, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation which is part of an initiative to create growth and jobs across Europe.

“There are major opportunities for Irish business and universities to generate funding across a wide range of research sectors from climate change and sustainable transport to food safety and coping with the challenges of an aging population,” said Prof Hinchey.

Referring to this week’s budget he added: “Software and digital technology have created over 80% of new jobs in recent years making it the most recession proof sector of the Irish economy. The Government has backed the digital economy through Science Foundation Ireland’s research programmes and we look forward to that trend continuing.”

Opening the Lero Industry Research Day , he said: “Lero plans to participate in Horizon 2020, together with industry and research institutions across Europe, with the aim of making software more reliable, flexible and fit for purpose.”

Lero (www.lero.ie) brings together researchers in the University of Limerick, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, NUI Galway, and Dundalk Institute of Technology and is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and other Irish and international agencies.