30/03/2016

Irish Research And Development Benefits From €250m EU Funding

More than €250 in competitive funding has been secured from Horizon 2020, the European Union's programme for Research and Innovation.

A total of 588 projects with Irish participants are to benefit from the funding, announced by Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English.

Ireland recorded a spectacular success in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie sub-programme of Horizon 2020, which promotes the training of researchers. In the most recent round of funding Ireland won €18.5m, equivalent to 35% of the available Marie Skłodowska-Curie budget, bringing Ireland's total from this sub-programme to €49m.

Horizon 2020, which runs over the period from 2014-2020, has a total budget of almost €75bn and Ireland has a national target of winning €1.25bn in funding over the course of the programme. The results announced today covers the first two years of the programme.

Minister English said: "I am delighted with this performance to date which clearly shows that Ireland is on track to achieve its ambitious national target of €1.25bn. This success bears testimony to the excellence of research in Ireland, both in our higher education system and in our innovative companies. It shows that our researchers are among the best in the EU.

"I hope that this success will inspire other researchers to look to the opportunities in Horizon 2020. Important as the funding is, participation in Horizon 2020 provides invaluable additional benefits to the participants, ranging from networking to opportunities to collaborate with Europe's best researchers and most innovative companies.

"So I would encourage all researchers, particularly those in companies, to investigate the many funding possibilities in Horizon 2020. We have an excellent national support structure for Horizon 2020, led by Enterprise Ireland, which can assist researchers in identifying opportunities and in applying for funding".

Imelda Lambkin National Director for Horizon 2020 at Enterprise Ireland added: "A key role of Enterprise Ireland is to support the commercialisation of research and the development of innovative businesses. We are proud to lead Ireland's participation in Horizon 2020 and the €250m in funding secured by Irish researchers and companies under the programme demonstrates the strength and leadership of the people involved. We will continue to work with Irish researchers and companies to meet our Horizon 2020 funding targets as they target larger projects."

(MH)

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