Go2Tender Workshops 2017

A series of Go-2-Tender workshops organised by InterTradeIreland have been developed to give SMEs the confidence, knowledge and practical skills to tender successfully for public sector contracts in their own jurisdiction and on a cross-border basis.  The first workshop will be held on 25th January in Wexford “Introduction to Tendering Workshop” for small business owners, sole traders and start-ups and is a half day training targeting the micro sector, these seminars focus on low value/under threshold opportunities. Further two day workshops aimed at SMEs are being rolled out throughout the country starting on 2nd February and running through to December 2017.

The programme is geared towards SMEs who are new to tendering or who want to improve their basic tendering skills.  The course consists of a two day workshop and a half day of mentoring.  This mentoring may be extended by up to 2 additional days and all mentoring is delivered by an experienced consultant to assist with tender development.

Go to Go-2-Tender  for event details and application form.





Irish projects winning €2.4m per week in H2020 funding

The EU’s €75bn scientific funding initiative Horizon 2020 (H2020) has seen Ireland secure more than €336m since it began, a rate of €2.4m per week.

The times are good in scientific research, with H2020 – which runs, obviously, until 2020 – ploughing billions of euros into international projects throughout the EU.

Despite its relatively small size, Ireland’s take of €2.4m per week has been driven by particularly large areas of research, such as the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, which supports mobility and training of researchers, from which we have secured €59.7m.

Elsewhere, the ICT ‘Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies’ field has brought in €59.6m. Higher-education institutes accounted for €198m, or 59pc of the total, with €74m going towards SMEs. Companies in general have secured €104m.

In the first two full years of H2020, Ireland secured €282m, a figure dwarfed by the bigger EU states of Germany (€2.8bn), the UK (€2.45bn) and France (€1.6bn).

Dr Imelda Lambkin, the national director for H2020, said she is “delighted” at the success shown by the country’s research teams, claiming it shows “real evidence” of the talent and abilities throughout Ireland.

Lambkin said she and her team are “working to influence the 2018-2020 programmes” so that Irish researchers and research bodies can access greater funding, while those using the services of the national support “tend to double their chances of success in the programme”.

Success is an interesting word to use.

The application rate in Ireland grew from 1,948 in 2014 to 2,456 in 2015, reflecting a common theme throughout the EU. For example, the company applying the most is the UK, rather ironically.

There, the numbers swelled from 12,388 applications in 2014, to 18,566 in 2016. Denmark (12,560-16,969), Italy (13,349-12,606), Spain (12,038-15,811) and France (9,615-11,219) round out the top five.

On average, the success rate from application to acceptance is around one in nine which, as Science Business reported earlier this week, is a sharp fall from the average odds of one in five in the preceding Framework Programme 7, which ran between 2007 and 2013.

“Horizon 2020 would have needed €41.6bn more in the first two years to fund all proposals deemed excellent by independent evaluators,” according to the recently published two-year review.

Irish applications have a particularly high success rate, though. Ranking 13th in 2014, applications for Irish projects (at 13.1pc) were more likely than all but two other countries (Austria and Belgium). Ireland’s rise up the rankings came as everybody’s success rate fell.

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)’s Prof Mark Ferguson congratulated all successful researchers, winning funding amid stiff competition.

“This demonstrates the strength and quality of our research base and leverages the national funding, as well as providing access to facilities and expertise that Ireland – a small country – needs,” he said.

“I encourage those in industry and academia who have not yet applied to consider doing so, and to take advantage of the considerable national supports from agencies such as Enterprise Ireland and SFI.

“I encourage everyone to be ambitious and develop research proposals of scale and excellence, which will have a significant impact into Ireland’s economy and society.”

Link to article:

Ireland secures €336.7 million from EU for Research and Innovation

See press release issued at DJEI on 1st December:


‘The just-published European Commission’s annual monitoring report for 2015 also reveals that Ireland recorded the second highest success rate in 2015 for applications to Horizon 2020 (13.1%), along with Belgium (also 13.1%). The best performer was Austria (13.9%)’.

Ireland has won a total of €336.7 million from the EU Programme for Research and Innovation, equivalent to an average of €2.4 million every week, the Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan T.D. announced today.


Ireland climbing the innovation performance table

Investment is targeted in areas of greater returns such as ICT networks and agri-food.

The fund supports strategic, smart investments and is underpinned by a guarantee from the EU budget. In Ireland, it has already supported the planned 14 new primary health care centres, improvements to drinking water and wind farms off the west coast.

By focusing on removing obstacles to investment, making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, the fund offers new opportunities to fund innovative projects in addition to what’s available under Horizon 2020, the €80 billion EU research and innovation programme.

Already Ireland has an excellent track record in attracting EU funding for science, research and innovation. It ranks with the top performers in attracting funding from the European Research Council, with 70 projects funded. Irish SMEs had the highest success rate at 20 per cent in the first wave of Horizon 2020 grants under the SME Instrument, which is worth €3 billion.

We very much expect that Ireland will continue to be one of the top performers in attracting EU R&D funding.

Horizon 2020 is now much more focused in getting ideas from the lab to market and on generating genuine economic and social impact.

In concrete terms, this means more funding for prototyping, demonstrators, piloting with users, and on providing equity and loans to help give start-ups and high- growth innovative firms the kick-start they need. Ireland with its entrepreneurial spirit is well-placed to benefit from this new emphasis.

As well as benefiting from EU funds, being part of the European Research Area means Ireland can contribute significantly to global research and development.

Irish universities, institutes of technology and companies have enthusiastically taken part in important international research teams and this will continue apace using all the funding instruments available.

Political consensus now exists across Europe on the vital role that innovation will play in building Europe’s future and Ireland is an important player on the European scene. By using our combined resources effectively at Union, member state, regional or local levels, I believe we can look to the future with confidence.

Barbara Nolan is head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland


Commission announces winners of 2016 EU Prize for Women Innovators

Brussels, 10 March 2016

The three winners of the 2016 EU Prize for Women Innovators have been announced.

The winners, from Ireland, Finland and Portugal, have all received EU research and innovation funding at some point in their careers, and recently founded or co-founded a successful company based on their innovative ideas.

The winners are:

  1.  Dr. Susana Sargento, co-founder of Veniam in Portugal, turns vehicles into Wi-Fi hotspots and builds city-scale vehicular networks that collect terabytes of urban data.
  2. Prof. Sirpa Jalkanen, co-founder of BioTie Therapies in Finland, discovered unique targets for drug development for harmful inflammations and cancer treatment.
  3. Dr. Sarah Bourke, co-founder of Skytek in Ireland, develops software for the International Space Station and received innovation awards from NASA.
 The three winners received their prizes from Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation during a Citizens’ Dialogue event in Brussels on the importance of women in Business and Research.

Commissioner Moedas said: “I want to congratulate the three winners of the 2016 EU Prize for Women Innovators on their outstanding achievements. Europe needs to support more innovators like them: the people who combine scientific excellence with a head for business; the people who turn their research into employment opportunities and their ideas into positive impacts for our society and our economy.”

The winners received prizes of €100,000, €50,000 and €30,000 respectively. They were chosen by an independent jury from a total of 64 applications.

To learn more about the EU Prize for Women Innovators and the participants in this year’s prize:


The 2016 EU Prize for Women Innovators is the largest prize of its kind worldwide, and follows previous editions in 2011 and 2014. The Prize aims to raise public awareness of the need for more innovation and more female entrepreneurs, and to highlight the achievements of the most successful women innovators.

Women are underrepresented in terms of creating innovative enterprises – only 29% of entrepreneurs in the EU are women.

Although the proportion of female researchers in Europe is increasing, women are still under-represented in scientific disciplines and careers. The latest ‘She Figures‘ statistics published by the European Commission on the occasion of the award ceremony show that women are gaining ground in science but their progress is still slow and uneven. Women PhD graduates rose from 43% in 2004 to 47% in 2014.

Women are also making progress as heads of higher education institutions, rising from 16% to 20%. However, the proportion of women researchers in general remains stable and the share of female professors has only slightly increased to 20.9%. The ‘She Figures’ publication is the main source of Pan-European comparable statistics on the state of gender equality in research and innovation.

Government publishes ambitious Innovation Strategy – Innovation 2020: Excellence Talent Impact

The Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English TD, together with the Taoiseach and the Minister for Jobs, today published Innovation 2020, Ireland’s 5-year strategy for research and development, science and technology at the Innovation Showcase 2016 event on 8th December at the Convention Centre Dublin.

This innovation plan is a key element of the Government’s overall jobs strategy, Enterprise 2025, aimed at building a new economy based on exports and enterprise, and delivering full employment on a sustainable basis.

The strategy is aimed at building on the significant successes delivered by the Government’s science strategy over the past decade, which has seen Ireland dramatically improve its performance globally in this area. The next phase of the strategy is aimed at building on existing infrastructures and achieving ambitious private-public collaborations.

A key ambition of the Strategy is to increase total investment in R&D in Ireland, led by the private sector, to 2.5% of GNP. On current official projections, this would mean that over €5billion will be invested per year in R&D by the private and public sectors by 2020. This will represent almost doubling current levels of investment (€2.9billion in 2014).

Among the other ambitious targets to be delivered by the strategy are:

  • the number of research personnel in enterprise will be increased by 60% to 40,000
  • research masters and PhD enrolments will be increased by 30% to 2,250;
  • private investment of R&D performed in the public research system will be doubled
  • 40% increase in the share of PhD researchers transferring from SFI research teams to industry
  • Ireland’s participation in International Research Organisations will be expanded – we will apply for full membership of ELIXIR, and we will explore membership options for CERN and ESO
  • the network of Research Centres will be further developed, building critical mass and addressing enterprise needs;
  • a successor to the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions will be rolled out to include investment in the creation of new, and the maintenance and upgrading of existing, facilities and equipment and ensure full utilisation;
  • €1.25bn funding under the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020 will be drawn down;
  • a new Programme of Funding for Frontier Research will be introduced, providing resilience and responsiveness to meet new challenges or opportunities as they emerge;
  • challenge-centric research will be initiated to stimulate solutions-driven collaborations bringing together enterprise, higher education institutions and public sector to identify and address national challenges
  • horizon-scanning – in the coming years a formal horizon-scanning exercise will be undertaken to identify areas of strategic commercial opportunity for Irish-based enterprises. This process will feed into the next research prioritisation exercise in 2018
  • international benchmarking – we will benchmark Ireland’s performance in these areas against other comparable economies, and develop steps to improve our comparative performance

Launching the report, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD said: “Developing the talent of our population is an underlying aim of Innovation 2020 and will be critical to the successful realisation of our national vision, of Ireland as an innovation leader.  Our success in delivering on our vision will depend on our people – undertaking the research, working in and creating successful enterprises, and contributing to the society in which we live.  We will support talent development from primary level through to Postdoctoral research and from frontier research across all disciplines to practical application. We will support the successful deployment of that talent and research in driving innovation in enterprises and public services.”

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said: “Innovation 2020 is a key element in our plan to keep the recovery going by helping to create new jobs and new opportunities for research. It sets out a vision in which Ireland would become a Global Innovation Leader, with research, development, science and technology all contributing to this goal. Our reputation for research excellence has been a major catalyst in our success in attracting and maintaining foreign direct investment, and this Strategy demonstrates that we remain strongly committed to maintaining and improving standards in the excellence of our research.”

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said: “At the heart of our overall jobs strategy is rebuilding a sustainable economy based on enterprise, exports and innovation, to replace the failed economy based on debt and property that was built up during the last decade. A key part of this is improving our performance in innovation. In recent years we have built up a base of performance in innovation that has brought us into the top 10 of the international rankings – the aim now is to improve on this, and truly make Ireland a global leader in this area. This strategy sets out a range of ambitious actions for delivering on this, and under the leadership of Minister Damien English I am confident that we can deliver on this – with massive impact on our ability to grow the economy and create the jobs we need”.

Welcoming the launch of the strategy, Professor Mark WJ Ferguson, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “I welcome the new strategy Innovation 2020 which highlights the importance of scientific research and innovation to all aspects of Ireland’s future and which confirms the Government’s commitment to increase both public and private investment in this area.  Innovation 2020 builds on the considerable past successes and outlines some ambitious new plans such as challenge based funding.  Science, innovation and technology are driving rapid global changes and the world is becoming more competitive. Ireland needs to continue to push forward: be the creators and owners of new ideas and innovations, upskill our people, strengthen and future proof our economy and society. Implementation of Innovation 2020 will allow us to do that: excellence, talent and impact.”


For further information contact Press Office, D/Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation ph. 6312200 or press.office@djei.ie

Notes for Editors

Innovation 2020 Full and Key Messages www.djei.ie/Djei/en/Publications/Innovation-2020.html

Improvement in Ireland’s performance in R&D over recent years:

  • Ireland has improved its ranking in the Innovation Union Scoreboard having moved from 10th place in 2013 to 8th place in 2015 – ranked first in Innovators and Economic Effects i.e. how innovative firms are and economic success stemming from innovation in terms of employment, revenue and exports.
  • Ireland is 8th in the Global Innovation Index 2015 (out of 141 countries) [Source: Cornell University, INSEAD and WIPO 2015]
  • Ireland is 13th in the world for university-industry collaboration on R&D [Source: Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014]
  • Ireland is listed amongst the top 20 countries in global rankings for the quality of our scientific research moving up to 16th place in 2014. We have excelled in certain scientific disciplines and Ireland is ranked 1st in immunology, 1st in animal and dairy, 3rd in nanotechnology and 4th in computer science. [Source: Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators]

 Background to Innovation 2020

In June 2006, Government published the Strategy for Science, Technology & Innovation (SSTI) 2006 to 2013 which provided the framework for Government’s investment in research and innovation. As a result significant steps were made in establishing a strong public research environment based on scientific excellence in a number of strategic areas, in many cases meeting and exceeding targets set out in the SSTI. Research Prioritisation emerged in the intervening period as the Government’s primary science, technology and innovation policy goal and this saw a concentration of the majority of competitive funding on areas which were deemed most likely to secure greater economic and societal impact, particularly in the form of jobs. Innovation 2020 places Research Prioritisation and the focus on research relevance and impact within a broader context and incorporates policy around research to support the broader knowledge base and research to support the development of policy in key sectors of relevance to the economy and society.

An Interdepartmental Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (IDC) chaired by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and comprising representatives from key Government Departments, along with the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government and representatives from the Higher Education Authority, was convened at the end of 2014 to formulate the new Strategy.

A number of studies were undertaken and their findings were taken into consideration in the development of the Strategy. The studies were in areas including Ireland’s future research infrastructure needs; an independent review of Research Prioritisation; strengthening enterprise R&D; the market focused research centre landscape; the IP capability of Irish firms; and Ireland’s participation in international research organisations.

Ireland’s Future Research Infrastructure Needs Study

Review of Progress in Implementing Research Prioritisation

Optimising Policy Intervention to Strengthen the Impacts of Enterprise RD&I in Ireland

Strengthening Ireland’s Market Focused Research Centre Landscape

Enhancing the Intellectual Property Activities in the Firm Base in Ireland

Review of Irish Membership of International Research Organisations

An in-depth consultation process was undertaken. A detailed consultation paper setting out key issues was circulated to stakeholders in February 2015 and some 80 written responses were received. A Consultative Forum involving 120 key stakeholders from industry, the public sector and academia was held in July 2015.  The Forum focused on a number of thematic areas which emerged from the workings of the IDC and from the written consultation process. A report of the Forum was also commissioned.


The goals of Innovation 2020 are:

  • Excellent research performed in strategically important areas with relevance and impact for the economy and society
  • A strong, innovative and internationally competitive enterprise base, growing employment, sales and exports
  • A renowned pool of talent in Ireland’s public research system and in industry, which maximises exchange of talent and knowledge between the two
  • A coherent, joined-up innovation ecosystem, responsive to emerging opportunities, delivering enhanced impact through the creation and application of knowledge
  • An internationally competitive research system that acts as a magnet and catalyst for talent and industry.

This will mean:

  • More enterprises engaged in RDI, including enterprises in the locally traded sectors, to drive productivity performance
  • More enterprises progressing from early engagement with RDI to embedding innovation as a key part of their business model in a self-sustaining way
  • Businesses across the enterprise base embracing new technologies to build successful business models
  • Achieving innovation leadership in key sectors where we can sustain a competitive edge
  • Greater utilisation by enterprises of the research assets of our Higher Education Institutes, by engaging with Research Centres and Technology Centres
  • Greater success in translating intellectual property or new thinking into commercial products and services – by providing better supports for knowledge transfer and entrepreneurship, infrastructure for test-bedding, and access to funding
  • Greater use of RDI to find solutions to pressing societal challenges in areas such as public health and energy
  • Government departments using research to inform evidence-based policy and regulation, e.g. relating to the environment and
  • Public services embracing an increased investment in RDI as a way of delivering higher productivity and service-user experience, including a greater openness to partnering with enterprise to fund solutions for difficult challenges.

Ireland performs strongly winning €180 million from EU Programme for Research and Innovation ‘Horizon 2020’

Minister for Skills, Research & Innovation, Damien English TD, today announced Ireland’s latest successes in Horizon 2020, the EU Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) with a budget of approximately €80 billion. In welcoming the success the Minister said: ‘I would like to congratulate researchers from academia and industry in Ireland who have secured this prestigious funding. Irish Researchers are punching above their weight & continue to excel at winning competitive funding against the Europe’s best researchers’.

Click here to read more


Work Programme 2016 – 2017

The current main Horizon 2020 work programme comprises an introduction, 18 thematic sections and the general annexes describing general rules such as standard admissibility conditions and eligibility criteria, types of action, selection and award criteria, etc. Each thematic section is self-contained, and describes the overall objectives, the respective calls for proposals, and the topics within each call.

This Horizon 2020 work programme is complemented by the separate work programmes for the European Research Council, Euratom, the Joint Research Centre and the Strategic Innovation Agenda for the European Institute of Innovation and technology (EIT).
More section-oriented information on the input to the preparation of the current work programmes can be found for the following topics:


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  • 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