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Ireland wins over €213m from European R&D Fund
Mon 19 Jul 2010 02:43 pm filed by the Editor - Ireland
Researchers from Irish companies and higher education institutions won funding totalling €213 million for collaborative research projects in areas like ICT, health, nano-technology and energy from the largest European R&D funding programme ever, announced Minister Conor Lenihan TD.
The €50 billion Seventh EU Framework Programme (FP7) is seen as a major asset in the EU’s fight against the current economic crisis with its ring-fenced budget growing every year by 13% until 2013.
FP7 runs from 2007 to 2013 and in the period up to April 2010, researchers from Irish companies and higher education institutions won funding totalling €213 million for collaborative research projects in areas like ICT, health, nano-technology and energy research.
Companies have secured €55.5 million of the funding to date. SMEs account for over 69% of the funding to private industry, funding that is enabling Irish SMEs to collaborate with world-class research teams across Europe.
Speaking after his meeting with EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation & Science Maire Geoghegan Quinn, where he presented her with a report on Irelands success in accessing funding under FP7, Minster Lenihan; “I am particularly pleased to see the high level of activity of Irish researchers both from academic and industry. In the period from commencement of FP7 to April 2010, 2,965 applicants from Irish-based organisations took part in proposal submissions requesting European funding.
‘From these proposals, 720 applicants were successful, receiving €213m, giving an overall Irish success rate of 24.28%, above the European Member State average of 22.28%.
‘The Irish success rates ahead of the overall EU average are very positive indications of the prospects for Irish participation in FP7 and are ahead of our national targets. The new ideas and innovations generated from these research collaborations will help create new high quality jobs.”
On 20th July, Europe will issue over 50 calls for research proposals, with something of potential interest to all types of companies in Ireland, regardless of where they are in terms of R&D capability.
Companies – whether small or large, Irish-owned or just based in Ireland – can apply for funding through FP7 to do research in areas including health, transport, environment, nanotechnology, energy, ICT and agriculture and many more.
Speaking in advance of the call opening date, Minister Lenihan said: ‘Since the European Commission made it more attractive by giving 75% funding for SMEs, I expect to see an increase in the level of applications to FP7 from small companies in Ireland.
‘This represents a valuable opportunity for Irish companies that are serious about using research to improve their competitiveness and grow their business’ the Minister added.