Six Irish researchers to be awarded European Research Council’s Starting grants in 2018

This year, Irish research institutions have won 6 European Research Council grants representing a total of €8.7 m in funding.

Six Irish researchers from Trinity College Dublin, NUI Galway and University of Limerick will be awarded Starting grants for their projects. This represents a big improvement on last year when Ireland won 2 grants.

In addition, a further 3 scientists with Irish nationality hosted at universities outside Ireland won grants.

Read more here:


EIC Fast Track to Innovation to invest €34 million in 14 innovative projects to help them enter the market faster

The European Commission will support 14 top-class projects to bring their innovations faster onto the market under the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot. Each project will receive around €2 million from the Fast Track to Innovation strand of the EIC pilot. The 14 projects involve 59 partners, including small and medium-sized companies, industrial partners, universities and non-profit organisations, from 18 countries. With this funding and extra business acceleration support, the projects will be able to finance their close-to-market innovation activities.

Projects selected for funding include a recycling technology to introduce rubber from ‘end-of-life’ tyres into production lines as virgin rubbers substitute, a system to treat persistent atrial fibrillation, an artificial intelligence tool that improves video quality and limits internet traffic tied to video streaming, and a stirling heat pump for industrial use in high temperatures.

Read more here

The Fast Track to Innovation scheme is a central part of the EIC pilot, targeting radically new, breakthrough products, services, processes or business models that open up new markets. It offers up to €3 million to consortia composed of 3 to 5 partners including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), industrial participants research centers, universities, cluster organisations, industry associations, incubators, investors, and the public sector. The scheme is for relatively mature groundbreaking technologies, concepts and business models that are close to market. The participating SMEs also have access to free business coaching and acceleration services.

By the cut-off date of 31 May 2018, the European Commission received 2016 proposals. The next cut-off date for Fast Track to Innovation is on 23 October 2018.

Have a look at the selected companies in our datahub


The European Commission released the following Press Release today, 7th June 2018:

For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing €100 billion for research and innovation.

A new programme – Horizon Europe – will build on the achievements and success of the previous research and innovation programme (Horizon 2020) and keep the EU at the forefront of global research and innovation. Horizon Europe is the most ambitious research and innovation programme ever.

Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said “Investing in research and innovation is investing in Europe’s future. EU funding has allowed teams across countries and scientific disciplines to work together and make unthinkable discoveries, making Europe a world-class leader in research and innovation. With Horizon Europe, we want to build on this success and continue to make a real difference in the lives of citizens and society as a whole.”
Press Release:

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:

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