The Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock, TD, today
(Tuesday) welcomed the announcement by European Commissioner Máire
Geoghegan-Quinn that nearly €7 billion funding is to be made available for
research projects throughout Europe. This is the latest tranche of funding
available under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research
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 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.
“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,” Minister Sherlock said.
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.
“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”, the
The range of financial supports available includes travel support, which
assists researchers to meet with potential partners, and proposal
preparation support for academic coordinators and companies, covering all
costs associated with submission of applications.
“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.