Competitive Start Fund (CSF) for Female Entrepreneurs

Enterprise Ireland’s €1 million Competitive Start Fund (CSF) for Female Entrepreneurs will open for applications on Tuesday, May 1. Up to €50,000 in equity funding is available to a maximum of 20 successful female applicants with early stage start-up companies. Last year, 46 per cent of all companies who received CSF investment from Enterprise Ireland were female-led.

In addition to securing vital funding, 15 of the successful applicants will be offered a place on the INNOVATE accelerator programme, delivered by Dublin BIC. Taking place over a 12-week period in the Guinness Enterprise Centre, the interactive INNOVATE programme will increase the capabilities of the participants and move them to investor-ready within a short period.

The purpose of a CSF for female entrepreneurs is to accelerate the growth of female-led start-up companies that have the potential to employ more than 10 people and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years.

Introduced in 2012 as part of Enterprise Ireland’s female entrepreneurship strategy, the dedicated fund is designed to enable companies reach key commercial and technical milestones which will ensure delivery of their product or service to an international audience. Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund is funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, said: “There is no doubt that tailored and targeted initiatives have had a positive impact on the numbers of female-led, scalable start-ups seeking support from the Government through our State Agency, Enterprise Ireland. I am delighted that last year, almost half of start-ups that received Competitive Start Fund investments were companies led by women. We want to build on this and ensure that more female entrepreneurs from all different industry sectors are encouraged to apply this year.”

Working with ambitious start-ups led by women is a key focus for Enterprise Ireland and the purpose of the CSF is to accelerate the growth of start-up companies that have the capability to become High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) companies.

Rachael James, Female Entrepreneurship Manager, Enterprise Ireland added: “We made a commitment in 2012 to female entrepreneurs in this country to increase supports dedicated to them, and we did this in direct response to the low number of female-led start-ups receiving investments and supports. Six years later the breakdown is encouraging. More than one in three start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland last year through the High Potential Start-Up programme and CSFs were led by women, compared to just one in ten start-ups in 2012. However, we need to keep this momentum so that we see more women confidently starting new businesses and successfully scaling existing ones.”

Conor Carmody, Dublin BIC Investor Ready Programme Manager said: “Dublin BIC supports entrepreneurs to start and scale though a number of channels and programmes including delivery of the Innovate Programme, the Enterprise Ireland accelerator designed to meet the needs of female-led start-ups with the ambition to scale internationally and to become ‘investor ready’, a crucial step in becoming a High Potential Start-Up company.”

Full details on the Competitive Start Fund for Female Entrepreneurs, including the application form and eligibility criteria, can be accessed on the Enterprise Ireland website.

The Competitive Start Fund for Female Entrepreneurs will close for submissions at 3 p.m on Tuesday May 15.



Horizon 2020 in full swing three years on – Key Facts and Figures 2014-2016

Horizon 2020 success rates increase

The recent interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 confirmed that the programme is highly successful and well on track to achieve its objectives: stimulating excellent science, building industrial leadership, and providing solutions to the challenges that our society faces. In doing this, Horizon 2020 is an important contributor to the Juncker Commission priorities.

This brochure provides a snapshot of the programme’s main achievements after three full years of implementation (2014- 2016). For the first time, some early trends can be glimpsed from the year-on-year evolution of key monitoring data such as success rates, SME participation, and project evaluation. We take heart from the clear indications of its attractiveness and accessibility. Some 55% of applicants are newcomers, and the share of funding awarded to SMEs surpassed the 20% target.

Continuing efforts to simplify the programme are paying off, with a shorter average time now taken to sign grants than ever before.

The quality of applications is also striking – a very high proportion of proposals are assessed as high-quality by independent evaluators. Horizon 2020 would have required an extra EUR 66.3 billion in order to fund all the high-quality proposals received so far.

Three years on, a closer look at the results and project examples illustrated in this brochure clearly show the enormous potential in Europe for excellent research and innovation, and how in turn this can have a real impact on our economy and society. We will work hard to ensure that Horizon 2020 can be even more successful during the second half of its lifetime, paving the way for the successor programme due to start in 2021.

You can download the attachment or follow the link below:

Launch of Large Scale Support for Horizon 2020 Initiatives

We are launching our large-scale support for Horizon 2020 activity today. We would appreciate if you could bring it to the attention or your research groups and centres.

You can find the link to the application form here:

We will give a webinar on it to clarify any issues next Thursday 14th December at 10h00 at this link:

Please distribute this information to your PIs, research centres and technology centres.

Minister Halligan launches Ireland’s response to Horizon 2020 work programme 2018-2020, 18 OCT 2017

Enterprise Ireland press release: Minister Halligan launches Ireland’s response to Horizon 2020 work programme 2018-2020, 18 OCT 2017

Minister Halligan launches Ireland’s response to Horizon 2020 work programme 2018-2020

For full text see:

COM build up a portfolio of project videos to showcase the impact of EU funded research and innovation projects

Research and innovation projects supported by the EU through Horizon 2020 and previous framework programmes are having a real impact on the life of Europe’s citizens and our society as a whole. The projects often have compelling stories to tell. But reaching out to a large non-specialist audience is not always that easy. So we are opening a communication channel based on our network of social media followers to complement your own outreach activities.

We want to build up a portfolio of project videos to showcase the impact of EU funded research and innovation projects on our daily lives, and we invite you to upload a short video featuring your project highlighting its impact and relevance for society. Your video will be promoted via our social media channels (@EUScienceInnov – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) – and could also be shown at events giving your work even more exposure.

Please visit our website for further information on how you can get involved:

Free travel and accommodation to attend the next ESOF conference in Toulouse in July 2018 will be offered to the Project Coordinator whose video receives the most likes!

You can find additional support and information on how best to communicate your projects on our webpage under ‘The EU guide to communication’. There are links to short videos about science communication in general, and specific tips on how to get the media on board.

I would really like to encourage you to get involved and I look forward to watching your video.

With best regards,

Robert-Jan Smits
Director General
Research and Innovation Directorate-General

You may find the original letter from Mr. Robert-Jan Smits, Director General of DG Research and Innovation under the following link:

Please do not reply to this message!

This message has been automatically generated by the Grant Management Service of the European Commission.

Recognising the achievements of Ireland’s Champions of EU Research

Researchers winning equivalent of €2.7 million in Horizon 2020 funding per week

28th June 2017
Dublin, Ireland

John Halligan T.D., Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development with Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland will present outstanding achievement awards to academic researchers, companies and research organisations that have reached the pinnacle of European research at ‘Ireland’s Champions of EU Research’ event taking place in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin today (Wednesday 28th June).

Sixteen individuals will receive Horizon 2020 achievement awards for their projects which exhibited outstanding leadership in their respective programme areas.

The aim of the event is to recognise the immense contribution of the award winners and all project leaders from Ireland to our national success in the €75 billion Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for research and innovation. Enterprise Ireland is hosting the event on behalf of Ireland’s National Support Network for Horizon 2020.

Speaking ahead of the presentation of awards the Minister said “I am delighted to be here today among this impressive and diverse representation of the Irish research community. The breadth of projects nominated for awards today inspires confidence in the continued excellence and dedication to research and innovation in Irish society. I was particularly impressed to note the variety of Universities, Higher Education Institutes, agencies and companies that are competing at the highest levels of European research.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland added “Today’s event celebrates the achievements of collaboration between academic research and industry. Horizon 2020 is an important source of funding for research and innovation and provides a mechanism for researchers and Irish enterprise to network and collaborate with the best researchers and leading companies across Europe. These benefits are particularly important for a small, open economy like ours. The award winners here today are a source of inspiration for others and I’d like to wish them every success with their current projects and in their future endeavours.”

A panel discussion at the event will focus on Ireland’s success in Horizon 2020 to date, how to maximise participation in the final period 2018-2020 (launching later this year with a budget of €30 billion), and how to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the successor programme which will commence in 2021.

Dr Imelda Lambkin, National Director for Horizon 2020 reiterated that “today is about recognising what has worked well for Ireland’s researchers to date and applying that knowledge to position Ireland to make best use of the available funding from Horizon 2020 and FP9. We call on our EU Champions to lead this initiative as role models and mentors”.



Horizon 2020 is the EU Framework Programme for research and innovation.  It runs over the period 2014-2020 and has a total budget of €75 billion. Ireland’s national target of securing €1.25 billion in EU funding is equivalent to 1.67% of the overall Horizon 2020 budget. To date, Ireland has secured funding of €424 million, representing 1.66% of the total EU budget committed.

Enterprise Ireland leads the national support network for Horizon 2020, working to increase participation by Irish companies and academic institutions in the EU’s main instrument for funding research in Europe. Led by Enterprise Ireland, the national support network for Horizon 2020 has 9 member organisations; the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Enterprise Ireland, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Health Research Board, the Irish Research Council, the Irish Universities Association, the Marine Institute, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.

For more information visit

List of winners

1. European Research Council (ERC) awardees

Professor Suzanne Kingston, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN for her ERC Starting Grant. Suzanne’s project focuses on Legal Architectures: The Influence of New Environmental Governance Rules on Environmental Compliance – it achieved the highest ranking for an Irish applicant for this grant type.

Professor Anna Davies, TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN for her ERC Consolidator Grant. Anna’s project is SHARECITY: Assessing the practice and sustainability potential of city-based food sharing economies – also ranked highest.

Professor Poul Holm, TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN for his ERC Advanced Grant. Poul’s project is NorFish North Atlantic Fisheries: An Environmental History, 1400-1700 – also ranked highest.

2. Recognising the career development of our next generation researchers

Dr Conor O’Byrne, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, GALWAY and Dr Fiona Doohan, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN for leadership of their Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks in the areas of Understanding and Exploiting Mechanisms of Sensory Perception in Bacteria and training in innovative and integrated control of cereal diseases – both ranked first in their respective calls.

Dr Brian Cahill, INSTITUTE OF BIOPROCESSING AND ANALYTICAL MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUES, HEILBAD HEILIGENSTADT and MARIE CURIE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION on behalf of all of Ireland’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellows. Individual Fellowships support the mobility of researchers within and beyond Europe – as well as helping to attract the best foreign researchers to work in the EU.

Professor Jane Ohlmeyer, Chair of the IRISH RESEARCH COUNCIL for leadership of the CAROLINE programme for Collaborative Research Fellowships for a Responsive and Innovative Europe. The CAROLINE Fellowship Programme provides a unique opportunity for 50 researchers to develop their skills, competencies and experience through collaboration with NGOs and International Organisations under the overarching theme of global sustainable development as set out under the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Professor Linda Doyle, Director of CONNECT, TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN for leadership of the EDGE training and development programme for postdoctoral researchers that offers a unique combination of disciplines and industry engagement to the 71 fellows it will recruit. Leveraging the strengths and assets of three Irish National Research Centres, AMBER, CONNECT and ADAPT, headquartered in TCD, EDGE will form the next generation of thought leaders in ICT.

3. Northern Ireland and North-South successes

Ms Julie-Ann Walkden, BUSINESS SERVICES ORGANISATION, HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE NORTHERN IRELAND for leadership of the Northern Ireland-led project, ‘Mobile Assistance for Groups and Individuals in the Community’ (MAGIC). The MAGIC project is designed to discover innovative approaches to post-stroke care with a view to improving the independence of stroke survivors. This Pre-commercial Procurement project is the only one of its kind on the Island of Ireland, focusing on engaging with industry providers that will compete through several phases of solution development, testing and deployment in live healthcare environments in both Northern Ireland and Italy.

Dr Michaela Black, ULSTER UNIVERSITY for leadership of the MIDAS project on Meaningful Integration of Data, Analytics and Services. The MIDAS consortium is a partnership involving health authorities in five EU countries and the U.S. and technical big data experts from research institutions, MNCs and SMEs. Managing big data for ‘health in all’ is a monumental challenge for policy makers. MIDAS is developing an integrated solution which will liberate knowledge from data silos and unify heterogeneous big data sources to provide evidence-based actionable information and transform the way care is provided. DCU and IBM Ireland are partners in the project.

Professor Chris Elliot, QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST for leadership of the EU-China-Safe project Delivering an Effective, Resilient and Sustainable EU-China Food Safety Partnership. EU-China-Safe will mobilise resources in Europe and China to deliver a shared vision for food safety and authenticity and work towards “mutual recognition”. Comprising 15 participants from the EU and 18 from China, EU-China-Safe will develop and jointly implement major advances in improving food safety and combating food fraud in the two trading blocks. Teagasc and UCD are partners in the project.

4. SME Instruments

Mr Des O’Leary, ONCOMARK LTD for leadership of the OncoMasTR project developing a Novel Prognostic Assay for Early Stage Breast Cancer: the highest scoring Irish project in the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. OncoMark, a spin-out from UCD, is developing a novel, game-changing breast cancer prognostic assay which has the potential to transform patient care. OncoMasTR will help clinicians to decide which patients should receive chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer, which is a pressing clinical and economic issue worldwide. OncoMark’s plans to release its innovative breast cancer diagnostic test in 2018 have been bolstered by the company’s latest investment round. The company ranked first for its Health Pitch at the European Commission’s Innovation Summit.

Mr Paul Collins, DP DESIGNPRO LTD for leadership of the DP Renewables project developing a range of HydroKinetic turbines that will enable users to exploit the huge potential of clean, predictable energy in the world’s rivers, canals and estuaries: the second highest scoring Irish project in the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. Europe, as well as many countries around the world, is rich in small and medium-sized rivers and straits between islands. Existing technologies require very fast flow speeds and large deployment spaces in order to make turbine outputs viable. DP DesignPro aims to commercialise a range of innovative, hydrokinetic turbines that will offer a reliable solution for generating zero-carbon energy from rivers, estuaries and canals.

5. Collaborative Research

Mr Gal Weiss, IBM IRELAND LTD for achievement of a Horizon 2020 collaborative project portfolio of scale; IBM Ireland is one of the European Commission’s Top 50 Companies in Horizon 2020. IBM Ireland has had 18 projects approved with funding of approximately €11 million. Projects span the areas of Information and Communication Technologies with applications in Internet of Things, Health, Energy and Security.

Dr Michael Madden, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND, GALWAY for leadership of the ROCSAFE Remotely Operated CBRNe Scene Assessment Forensic Examination project under the SECURITY programme – a €4.7 million 13 partner project with Irish partners REAMDA LIMITED, SCORPION NETWORKS LTD, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE and the HEALTH SERVICE EXECUTIVE. The overall goal of ROCSAFE is to fundamentally change how CBRNe events are assessed, in order to ensure the safety of crime scene investigators by reducing the need for them to enter high-risk scenes. For this, ROCSAFE will make use of cost-effective remotely-controlled robotic air and ground vehicles that are designed for use in rain, wind, and challenging ground surfaces.

Dr Peter O’BRIEN, TYNDALL NATIONAL INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK for leadership of the PIXAPP Photonic Integrated Circuits Assembly and Packaging Pilot Line project in the ICT programme – a €15 million 18 partner key enabling technologies project. PIXAPP will establish the world’s first open access Photonic Integrated Circuit assembly and packaging Pilot Line. It combines a highly-interdisciplinary team of Europe’s leading industrial and research organisations and provides Europe’s SMEs with a unique one-stop-shop, enabling them to exploit the breakthrough advantages of PIC technologies. Irish company EBLANA PHOTONICS will work with UCC in the project.



For more information contact:
Grace Labanyi
Senior Executive, Corporate Communications
Enterprise Ireland
Direct line:  +353 (0)1 727 2820
Mobile: +353 (0)87 3286404

The Plaza, East Point Business Park, Dublin 3, Ireland.

Invitation to attend the Horizon 2020 Champions of Research Event

The Irish support network for Horizon 2020 Ireland invites you to attend a celebration of the achievements of Irish co-ordinators of Horizon 2020 projects.

We are honoured that Ms. Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, will present the Research Excellence Awards.

This national event provides an opportunity to network with other Irish academic and industrial researchers who are leading Horizon 2020 funded projects.

The forum will take the format of a panel discussion on topics including the impact of Horizon 2020 on Ireland’s research system and strategic approaches to maximising future Horizon 2020 and future Framework Programme participation.

Event details

The Royal Hospital Kilmainham
Military Road
Dublin 8

Registration commences at 11.30 am
Lunch served from 12 pm – 1 pm
Event commences at 1 pm and will conclude at 3.30 pm


To confirm your attendance please follow this link

Dr Imelda Lambkin
National Director for Horizon 2020
Enterprise Ireland

Tel: +353-87-646 2431

3 Irish companies secure over €5m from Horizon 2020 SME instrument

Ireland aims to win €1.25 bn – an average of €3M per week – over lifetime of 7 year programme.

Three Irish companies were successful in securing almost €5.33 million between them from a total budget of €99.96 million under phase 2 of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. Out of the 69 successful SMEs to achieve the Phase 2 funding, the 3 Irish companies were;Valitacell Ltd, Diania Ltd, and SwiftComply TopCo LtdIn this phase of the SME instrument, each project can receive up to €2.5 million, or €5 million for health projects, to finance innovation activities.

Dublin based Valitacell Ltd. develops biotechnology which allows companies to deliver faster and cheaper processing of bio-therapeutic drugs.

Galway based Diania Ltd is working on the commercialisation of advanced extrusion technologies through materials innovation to enhance the performance functionality of catheter based medical devices.

Dublin based SwiftComply TopCo has developed an innovative and exciting new approach to delivering and monitoring hospitality compliance, the Horizon 2020 funding will enable them to push this forward.

The funding allows the successful companies to invest in innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting, scaling up and miniaturisation, in addition to developing a mature business plan for their product.

The companies will also benefit from 12 days of business coaching. Most projects are proposed by a single SME but some companies team-up to elaborate a project.

The next cut-off for applications from SMEs to Phase 2 of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument is on 18/10/2017.

Contact for further information.


Head Office

Enterprise Ireland
East Point Business Park, Dublin 3
Tel: +353 1 727 2000 | Fax: +353 1 727 2020

  • The Department for Agriculture Food and the Marine
  • The Environmental Protection Agency Ireland
  • Health Research Board
  • Higher Education Authority
  • Irish Research Council
  •  Irish Universities Association
  • The Marine Institute
  • Science Foundation Ireland (SFI
  • The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

Horizon 2020 national support network led by Enterprise Ireland