Horizon 2020, Europe’s largest ever fund for research and innovation comes to Ireland

  • €79 Billion available to companies and researchers announces EU Commissioner 
  • Ireland aims to win €1.25 bn – an average of €3M per week – over lifetime of 7 year programme
Horizon 2020, the European Union’s new €79 billion programme for research and innovation to create new growth and jobs in Europe, was launched in the Convention Centre Dublin today (Tuesday 10 December 2013).

Horizon 2020, the European Union’s new €79 billion programme for research and innovation to create new growth and jobs in Europe, was launched in the Convention Centre Dublin today (Tuesday 10 December 2013).

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and Seán Sherlock T.D. Minister for Research & Innovation launched the largest European fund to date to support research and innovation to an audience of over 2,000 people from companies and academic researchers in Ireland.

Speaking at the launch Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn outlined the opportunities for Ireland’s economy and society presented by Horizon 2020: “Investment in research, innovation and science is essential if Europe and Ireland are to create new high-quality jobs. Horizon 2020 funding is based on competitive calls that are open to everyone. It is up to individual researchers, research organisations, companies or other organisations to get involved.” The Commissioner urged Irish companies and researchers to ‘be ambitious, find partners to collaborate with and apply now”.

Seán Sherlock T.D. Minister for Research & Innovation stated: “Ireland has adopted a new strategy to ensure strong participation by Irish researchers and companies in Horizon 2020, with an ambitious target of winning €1.25 bn over the programme period.” Minister Sherlock drew attention to the measures taken to make it easier for SMEs to participate. “Irish SMEs can engage in large collaborative projects, or seek support through a new dedicated SME instrument for highly innovative smaller companies. The amount of red tape has been slashed and a risk finance support for SMEs is being put in place to generate commercial value from their research, resulting in economic growth and job creation” said Minister Sherlock.

Dr. Imelda Lambkin, National Director of Horizon 2020, Enterprise Ireland highlighted the high levels of interest from ‘newcomers’ to EU funding in the build up to today’s launch. “It is vital that we attract new companies and researchers to apply for funding from Horizon 2020. The National Support Network for Horizon 2020 led by Enterprise Ireland is driving participants to go for bigger and more valuable projects as this is how we will reach our target of winning €1.25BN in funding for Ireland over the next 7 years” said Dr. Lambkin.

Horizon 2020 has an increased budget of nearly 30% in real terms compared with its predecessor, the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7). Ireland was successful in achieving the national target of winning €600M in funding from FP7.

For more information contact:

Grace Labanyi, Communications Officer, Enterprise Ireland 353 (0) 1 727 2746 / 353 (0) 87 3286404
grace.labanyi@enterprise-ireland.com

State must seize €1bn opportunity afforded by EU’s Horizon 2020 plan

THE RESEARCH, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE PROGRAMME IS WORTH ALMOST €80BN DURING THE PERIOD 2014 TO 2020

EU commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn: “Ireland has a good story to tell in terms of its involvement in EU research, innovation and science programmes.” Photograph: Alan Betson.

EU commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn: “Ireland has a good story to tell in terms of its involvement in EU research, innovation and science programmes.” Photograph: Alan Betson.

Ireland can draw down a minimum of €1 billion over the next seven years under the EU research, innovation and science programme Horizon 2020. However, more Irish organisations must participate in the programme.

Experience shows that countries and regions that invest the most in research, innovation and science secure the best economic dividends in the medium to long term. Governments have to be very smart when it comes to planning expenditure, particularly in times of budgetary constraint. But the reality is that investment in research, innovation and science is essential if Europe and Ireland are to maintain jobs and to create employment opportunities – to build on our strengths and become even more competitive.

Ireland has a good story to tell in terms of its involvement in EU research, innovation and science programmes. That said, it can, and must do better. Under the existing EU Research and Technological Framework Programme (FP7) 2007 – 2013, organisations from Ireland have drawn down €572 million to date. An additional €63 million has been secured by private and public sector bodies in Northern Ireland during this same period.

Economic development
These funds are being used to develop the economy during a difficult period for the country: 62 per cent of funding has gone to universities and third-level colleges; 26 per cent to private firms; with the remainder allocated to research institutes and public bodies.

Of this figure, €116 million has been drawn down by Irish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the information and communications technology (ICT), agriculture and food, health, transport, energy and environmental sectors.

Securing at least €1 billion under Horizon 2020 during the period 2014–2020 is very attainable but to achieve this, several measures must be taken: There needs to be a higher level of engagement from research and third-level colleges in Horizon 2020 who, heretofore, have not been strongly involved in EU research programmes. Many of these bodies could benefit greatly from closer collaboration in framing Horizon 2020 consortia applications.

More companies from the private sector need to participate in Horizon 2020 and this includes a series of public-private partnerships operating in Europe in the fields of aeronautics, fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, innovative medicines, electronics and bio-based industries.

The European Commission, together with EU governments and the European Parliament, have ensured that Horizon 2020 – which is worth almost €80 billion during the period 2014–2020 – will be less bureaucratic.

There will be a single set of rules covering eligibility, accounting and auditing that will guarantee less paperwork for applicants. The length of time from the submission of a proposal to the signature of a grant agreement with a successful consortium will take a maximum of eight months. There will also be a special SME financial instrument to support innovative smaller companies.

Successful consortia
Enterprise Ireland provides a professional advisory service that explains how Horizon 2020 operates, the nature of the calls for proposals and how best to form successful consortia.

This Wednesday marks the first call for proposals under Horizon 2020.

I urge companies that are involved in research, innovation and science to look at this call to identify new opportunities.

The website can be located at ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/index_en.cfm and the help desk will guide participants through the application process.

One of the key advantages of Horizon 2020 participation is the formation of high-level links with research bodies and companies in Europe and worldwide.

To date, European Union research funding has already enabled Irish organisations to pioneer advances to treat diabetes and tackle cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, groundbreaking Irish innovation is working to make energy consumption more efficient by using ICT applications.

I hope that anyone with an excellent idea and drive to innovate will look into opportunities Horizon 2020 offers.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is EU commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.

Contact

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