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Sherlock welcomes latest European Funding for Research and Innovation

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

Minister added.

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.