Irish firms secure more than €10m in latest Horizon 2020 funding

10 Mar 2017

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Five Irish SMEs have a bright future thanks to the H2020 research programme and its latest tranche of funding.

Ireland’s high performance when it comes to companies and researchers successfully securing EU funding is powering on.

The latest development is Horizon 2020’s (H2020) phase two general release, where five Irish SMEs will benefit from further research funding. With up to €2.5m on offer each, Axonista, AltraTech, Slainte Beoga Teor, Luxcel Biosciences and DP DesignPro are the latest beneficiaries.

Funding and more

Each of the projects will receive funds to help finance “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.

DP DesignPro is working on a hydrokinetic turbine that can exploit the potential of river and canal energy, with AltraTech focused on a portable battery-operated HIV diagnosis kit.

Luxcel Biosciences is developing advanced solutions for high-sensitivity metabolism and toxicity, while Slainte Beoga Teor is investigating a non-antibiotic antimicrobial treatment for bovine mastitis.

Jobs abound

Axonista, meanwhile, has already revealed that its funding – totalling €1.7m  – will see 15 new jobs created in engineering, marketing and business development in Ireland and the US over the next 12 months. This will augment its existing team of 20 at its Dublin HQ.

Axonista is a previous Start-up of the Week, and is building technologies that enable broadcasters to flourish in the evolving video landscape.

H2020 is a €75bn EU scientific funding initiative that has seen Ireland secure more than €336m since it began.

According to figures released at the end of 2016, Irish companies and researchers were securing €2.4m per week in funding from H2020.

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

Greater funding

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. Those availing of the national support services “tend to double their chances of success in the programme”.

The figures have continued to surge. For example, earlier this week, a University of Limerick team announced it was leading a new international project that aims to build carbon fibre from forestry by-products.

The €4.9m project will take lignin, a polymer found in wood and bark, and try to create an alternative to the current dominant process of petroleum-based carbon fibres.

Elsewhere, €5m in H2020 funding is helping Enterprise Ireland launch a new programme called Career-FIT that will try to woo 50 international researchers to Irish tech centres.

Horizon 2020

Infographic: European Commission

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic