Minister Halligan welcomes Ireland’s continued success in winning EU funding for Research and Innovation

  • Ireland wins a total €386 million of EU funding
  • This includes 82 individual awards of more than €1 million to companies and Higher Education Institutions.

11th April 2017
The Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan T.D. today (11th April 2017) welcomed the latest results on Ireland’s success in securing competitive funding from the Horizon 2020 programme.

Researchers and companies in Ireland have won a total of €386 million in EU funding from the Horizon 2020 programme from 2014 to February 2017. Higher Education Institutions accounted for €221 million, or 57% of the total and companies won €126 million, or 33%. SMEs received €78 million of the funding to companies.

To date 82 individual participants (companies and researchers) have secured funding of more than €1 million.

Ireland’s best performance was in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions sub-programme which supports the training and mobility of researchers. Ireland has secured €70 million from this programme, equivalent to 3.1% of the committed EU budget. Ireland’s next best programmes were the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and European Research Council programmes, which yielded €62 million and €49 million, respectively.

This performance means that Ireland is on track to achieve its national target of securing €1.25 billion in EU funding over the course of Horizon 2020.

Minister Halligan said that “I am delighted to see the continued success of companies and higher education institutions in Ireland in winning EU funding in open competitions with their peers across the EU. This clearly demonstrates the excellence of the research being undertaken in Ireland”.

Minister Halligan added “Research and Innovation are at the core of the Government’s enterprise strategy for creating new, sustainable jobs. Innovation is vital if companies are to succeed in international markets. The Government allocated €761million for Research and Innovation in 2016 and I am very pleased to see that this national investment is being leveraged to access EU funding”.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, commented “I congratulate all the successful winners of EU Horizon 2020 funding and strongly encourage others to try again, or apply for the first time, to these important, competitive, research funding programmes from the European Commission. I am particularly pleased to see: Irish researchers in Industry and Academia lead and win major projects; SFI Research Centres collaborate to secure major funding under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme; and the substantial improvement in Ireland’s success at the European Research Council. This competitively won European funding compliments and leverages the investments made nationally.”

Dr Imelda Lambkin, National Director for Horizon 2020, said “the latest results showcase Ireland’s growing leadership in collaborative research, development and innovation projects, with new projects in sectors such as Agri-Food, Energy, Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies. Successes range from companies such as OPENHYDRO GROUP, EIRECOMPOSITES TEORANTA and SCHWUNDGRAD ENERGIE in Fast Track to Innovation, to TEAGASC, UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK and UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK in co-funding programmes to develop the next generation of research leaders’’.


For more information contact Press Office, D/Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Tel:016312200 or

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. Enterprise Ireland leads the national support network for Horizon 2020, which assists companies and academics to apply for funding under the programme.

The funding to date, €386 million, represents 1.70% of the total EU budget committed, €22.7 billion. Ireland’s national target of securing €1.25 billion in EU funding is equivalent to 1.67% of overall H2020 budget.

EU market provides healthy returns for Galway based Chanelle

Building up a strong presence in European markets required vision and tenacity for Co Galway based Chanelle Group, one of the many successful Irish companies supported by Enterprise Ireland.

 “I made the strategic decision to concentrate on the EU in 1996 as I felt there were better opportunities there in the long term and it was a higher price market”

Chanelle Group in Loughrea, Co Galway epitomises what can be achieved in eurozone markets by an Irish company when its leader takes a long-term view and recognises the importance of investment in research and development (R&D).

Currently employing 395 people and exporting to 80 countries worldwide, Chanelle specialises in the development, production, marketing and distribution of generic animal and human pharmaceutical products.

Chanelle’s turnover has doubled over the past five years to reach over €100m in 2016. The EU accounts for about 83% of overall sales.

Click here to read the full article

Four Irish SMEs to receive EU grants of €50,000 each

Four Irish SMEs are to receive EU grants of €50 000 each under the latest round of Horizon 2020 funding announced today.

Three Dublin-based firms and one company from Galway will receive the award which is provided under phase 1 of Horizon.

Caraglass was successful in its funding for “iSafe”, an Internet Safety Awareness for European primary school children and Accucolour for “PET-Yield”, a new manufacturing method to carry out a more efficient, waste-reducing production of plastic bottles.

Meanwhile, InvizBox is to get a grant for “InvizBox GO 4G” –  an innovative approach to securing data on the internet and mbryonics for “Raven” or Real Time Access To Virtual Earth Observation Network.

Each project will receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies for new products that can disrupt the market – and they can also ask for up to three days of free business coaching.

The SME can also apply for Phase 2 support – which is usually between €500,000 and €2.5m – if the project’s feasibility study shows that it could be developed into a successful product on the open market.

Overall, 184 European SMEs were selected for funding for this round, with most of the projects in the area of IT and communications.

In total, 47 Irish SMEs have been awarded Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 1 funding since its launch in 2014, putting Ireland in 12th place overall.

Louise Kelly
Irish Independent



Ireland’s Horizon 2020 support network in Brussels to discuss and influence next phase of Horizon 2020 and future EU Research and Innovation programme

Press Release

14 March 2017

Ireland’s Horizon 2020 support network in Brussels to discuss and influence next phase of Horizon 2020 and future EU Research and Innovation programme

Ireland’s support network of national delegates and contact points are meeting EC policy officials today at Enterprise Ireland’s Brussels office, to hear first-hand how they can influence the remaining Horizon 2020 work programmes.

When the Irish Government launched its strategy for Horizon 2020 in December 2013, it also announced an ambitious target of €1.25bn to Ireland by the end of the seven year programme (2014-2020).

Official European Commission data shows Ireland successfully winning competitive proposals to-date to the value of €386.5 million. This is slightly ahead of the government’s target and is reflective of the strong Irish participation by both academic and industry researchers.

However, this is no time for complacency on the part of the support network which is led by Dr Imelda Lambkin, National Director Horizon 2020. 2017 is an important year in the European calendar as the mid-term review of Horizon 2020, along with the early discussions on the next framework programme (FP9) and the new multi-annual financial framework (EC budget) are all being negotiated in Brussels over the coming months.

Whilst the government is pleased with Ireland’s performance in Horizon 2020 to-date, they remain focused on increasing key performance areas and are mindful of a number of initiatives and political developments which could impact on their ambitious target. In particular, they are keeping a watchful eye on the Interim Evaluation of Horizon 2020 and its impact on the development of the plans for its successor, as well as monitoring developments in areas such as the new European Innovation Council, Open Science and the potential effects of “Brexit”.

Ireland’s top programme area in Horizon 2020 is the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MCSA) which supports mobility and training of researchers and has secured €59.7m in funding, just ahead of the ICT Leadership in Industrial Technologies programme at €59.6m.

Dr Imelda Lambkin, Enterprise Ireland and National Director of Ireland’s Horizon 2020 support network said she is “delighted” by the success of Irish participants to-date, claiming it shows “real evidence” of the talent and abilities throughout Ireland.

Dr. Lambkin said she and her team are “working to influence the 2018-2020 programmes” so that researchers, in Irish research institutes and company-based, can access greater funding. It has already been seen in the early part of the programme that those using the services of the national support “tend to double their chances of success in the programme”.


For more information contact: Evelyn Smith, Manager, EU R&I Liaison, Enterprise Ireland, Sablon Tower (14th floor), Rue Joseph Stevens 7, 1000 Bruxelles

Tel: +32 2 673 98 66

Enterprise Ireland secures €5M from EU’s Horizon 2020 to bring 50 international academics to Ireland

Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Julie Sinnamon, CEO announced details of Enterprise Ireland’s Career-FIT programme on 14 February 2017.

Career-FIT is a postdoctoral fellowship programme, part-funded by Horizon 2020 and Enterprise Ireland with the aim of bringing 50 high-level research fellows into Ireland to work in the Enterprise Ireland Technology Centres.

These centres which are jointly supported by IDA Ireland deliver industry-focussed research to the 482 company members. The Career-FIT programme is designed to help fill the skills gap in some of the Technology Centres ensuring that Irish companies have access to the best academic researchers in their industry sector.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said; “The Career-FIT programme is the first of its kind, addressing the skills shortage in industry-focussed research in Irish Technology Centres. This programme will benefit both the successful academic researchers and the Irish companies connected with the industry-focussed Technology Centres”.

A key feature of Career-FIT is the opportunity for experienced researchers from outside Ireland to develop their careers in market focused applied research through 3 year fellowships with secondment into industry through Ireland’s Technology Centres.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland said; “Enterprise Ireland connects business and academic research to drive new innovative products, processes and services, helping Irish companies to develop a competitive edge in international markets.

The Career-FIT programme will facilitate the placement of 50 international academic experts in 13 Technology Centres where they will work on industry-led research of direct relevance and value to Irish businesses.

The outputs of the collaboration will help Irish companies to build scale, and expand their reach in global market”.

Each multidisciplinary centre offers excellent facilities and equipment for Fellow use: experienced scientific staff to support the Fellow’s research and extensive enterprise relationships on which market focused applied research can be progressed.

There will be two calls under the Career-FIT programme. The first call has an application deadline of 31 March 2017. The second call will open in 2018. There will be 25 fellowships awarded in each call.

For more information contact the Enterprise Ireland Career-FIT Help Desk.

Telephone: +353-1-727 2665


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 713654.


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


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