Ireland Set For €600m Research Funds

The Minister for Research and Innovation, Mr. Seán Sherlock T.D., is attending an informal meeting of the Competitiveness Council in Budapest today, under the Hungarian Presidency of the European Union.

Minister Sherlock will also meet with EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, to discuss the Commissioner’s proposals for a Common Strategic Framework for research and innovation funding which is to replace the current Framework Programme at the end of 2013.

Speaking in Budapest Minister Sherlock said: “My priority at these meetings with Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn and my fellow research ministers from across Europe, is to build strong relationships to ensure that Ireland maximises the benefits of our position in the EU in terms of jobs and opportunities to further develop our economy.

“Thanks to national investment in research, Ireland is participating in the Framework Programme from a far stronger position than ever before. A critical mass of research activity has developed in both the public and private sectors and the design of the current programme suits the needs of Irish researchers in many ways.

Minister Sherlock added: “The Framework Programme’s National Support Office, led by Enterprise Ireland, is charged with optimising Irish involvement in the programme and a target of €600 million in research funding to Irish researchers and enterprises has been set for the period 2007 to 2013.

“Achievement of this target is well on track, with some €269m already awarded by end 2010. I am determined that we will achieve the target set.”

“Ireland supports the objective of the proposed Common Strategic Framework for Research and Innovation funding. It offers significant potential for making EU funding more attractive and easy to access for participants.

“The development of a simpler and more efficient structure and a streamlined set of funding instruments covering the full innovation chain in a seamless manner is essential. We need to significantly improve the current arrangements where various programmes support research and innovation, covering activities across the innovation cycle, yet often operating independently of each other.

Minister Sherlock concluded: “We look forward to working with our colleagues in Europe, both within the Council and Commission, in further improving the design and delivery of supports for research and innovation particularly for the SME sector which is critical to the economies of many, if not all, European countries.”


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