Irish researchers are nabbing €2.7m per week in H2020 funding

29 Jun 2017

From left: Imelda Lambkin, national director for Horizon 2020; Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan, TD; Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland; and Des O’Leary, CEO of OncoMark. Image: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography.

Ireland is right on track to hit its Horizon 2020 funding target, with €424m now secured through the science initiative.

With a target of €1.25bn, Ireland’s national target for funding through the EU’s Horizon 2020 (H2020) programme represents 1.67pc of the total €75bn allocated.

Started in 2014 and ending in 2020, research projects from the country may have only breached the one-third mark to date, but the €424m secured represents 1.66pc of the total allocated so far.

Future Human

Bang. On. Track.


Yesterday (28 June), a collection of researchers who have benefited from the EU funding were commended for their scientific achievements. 16 individuals in total received certificates from the State, each named an Ireland ‘Champion of EU Research’.

Dr Imelda Lambkin, national director for H2020, said yesterday’s event was “about recognising what has worked well for Ireland’s researchers to date and applying that knowledge to position Ireland to make best use of the available funding.

“We call on our EU Champions to lead this initiative as role models and mentors.”

Irish success with H2020 was been evident this year, with March seeing five Irish SMEs – Axonista, AltraTech, Slainte Beoga Teor, Luxcel Biosciences and DP DesignPro – garner up to €2.5m each.

One month later, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency revealed that 41 Irish researchers were approved for a total of €12.9m for climate-related studies on a variety of related projects.

The agency secured a further €8.2m for further studies mere weeks later. That’s still up for grabs.

Also in April, Irish astronomer Prof Tom Ray of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies bagged €2m to help us improve our understanding of young stellar objects.

Elsewhere, Nephstrom – with NUI Galway as the coordinating body – has been testing a novel allogeneic stromal cell therapy to treat diabetic kidney disease for a number of years with the help of H2020 funding.

Yesterday was focused on researchers who have worked with H2020 funding throughout the entire programme, including numerous professors from University College Dublin (UCD), Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and NUI Galway (NUIG), to name a few.

The 16 awardees were:

  • Prof Suzanne Kingston, UCD
  • Dr Fiona Doohan, UCD
  • Prof Anna Davies, TCD
  • Prof Poul Holm, TCD
  • Prof Linda Doyle, Connect, TCD
  • Dr Conor O’Byrne, NUIG
  • Dr Michael Madden, NUIG
  • Dr Brian Cahill, Heilbad Heiligenstadt
  • Prof Jane Ohlmeyer, Irish Research Council
  • Julie-Ann Walkden, Business Services Organisation
  • Dr Michaela Black, Ulster University
  • Prof Chris Elliot, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Des O’Leary, OncoMark
  • Paul Collins, DP DesignPro
  • Gal Weiss, IBM
  • Dr Peter O’Brien, Tyndall

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic