€7bn European Funding Welcomed

The announcement by European Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn that nearly €7 billion funding is to be made available for research projects throughout Europe has been welcomed by Minister Sherlock.

This is the latest tranche of funding available under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research (2007-2013).

Universities, research organisations and industry can all bid for funding under calls for proposals to be published tomorrow by the European Commission. Special attention will be given to SMEs, including a package close to €1 billion.

The Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock, said the main focus of the funding will be on the integration of research with innovation to tackle societal challenges and create sustainable jobs and growth by giving Europe a lead in the key technology markets of the future.

He said: “The competitive advantage created through research, development and innovation will be a key driver in our economic recovery. Companies that undertake Research and Development have shown a level of growth in trade and exports during the downturn that clearly demonstrates the value of engaging in high calibre research and innovation activity. Every day, these companies are winning and servicing global sales contracts across a range of modern growth industries leading to the creation of more and better high quality jobs for this economy.”

The Minister pointed out that Ireland has an above average success rate, with awards of €300 million to date and is on target to achieve the Government's own ambitious target of €600 million by 2014. The range of sectors covered by this latest funding includes food, biotechnology, nano-technology, climate change, environmental services, transport, health, energy, information communication and technology.

The Minister added: “Enterprise Ireland lead an extensive support network which offers a mix of guidance, advice and financial assistance to encourage researchers and companies, large and small, to avail of these funding opportunities.

“We have shown how successfully we can compete for these funds and I would strongly encourage all concerned to take full advantage of this latest opportunity to ensure that Ireland continues to maintain its competitiveness by developing our position as a dynamic knowledge driven economy,” the Minister concluded.


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