Saturday, 22 August 2015

Over E100 Million in EU Research funds for Ireland



Mr. Damien English T.D., Minister for Skills Research and Innovation, congratulated Ireland’s researchers and companies for their €127 million success in the first year of Horizon 2020, the current EU programme funding research and innovation. Ireland’s success exceeded the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 national target for 2014 by 27%.

Speaking at a Horizon 2020 Industry Leadership Day at University College Cork (UCC) in Cork, the Minister commended Ireland’s researchers and companies for the outcome of their efforts: ‘In the particularly competitive environment for EU research and innovation funding, surpassing our national target by 27% and achieving €127 million is a great achievement.’

The Minister went on to say that: ‘85% of funding won in 2014 came from ICT, research grants from the European Research Council (ERC) and training grants for researchers (‘Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Actions’), Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, Biotechnology and Agrifood.

‘I welcome this financial success but I am also equally conscious of the importance of Irish researchers and companies participating in the Horizon 2020 programme so that they get to collaborate and innovate with the best and brightest that Europe has to offer therefore resulting in further excellence in our national system.’

The Industry Leadership Day in Cork is one of the many events and activities which support Irish endeavours in Horizon 2020. This event today is aimed at increasing awareness of the industry related opportunities in Horizon 2020 as this programme is more innovation focussed than previous programmes. Ireland’s companies have achieved over €35 Million of the total won in 2014, of which almost three quarters went to SMEs.

Enterprise Ireland leads the National Support Network for Horizon 2020 and organised today’s event with the UCC Research Office. Dr Sergio Fernandez-Caballos, one of Enterprise Ireland’s EU advisors said: ‘Information days are a key step in positioning researchers and companies for success in future Horizon 2020 calls. By facilitating networking between these communities, and providing critical information, these days can lead to the development of quality, strong and successful funding proposals.’

The Minister concluded by commending the Horizon 2020 National Support Network for their work and said: ‘I want to encourage industry in particular to build on the success to date and engage further. Horizon 2020, with its focus on competitiveness and smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs, offers more opportunity for industry participation than ever before.’