Irish researchers capture €127m of Horizon 2020 — exceed target by 27pc

28 Jul 2015

Irish researchers have exceeded targets and captured some €127m of Horizon 2020, the EU's €80bn science war chest, in 2014.

Irish researchers and companies have captured €127m worth of R&D funding in the first year of Horizon 2020, exceeding the national target for 2014 by 27pc.

With a budget of nearly €80bn, Horizon 2020 will run over seven years from 2014 to 2020.

“85pc of funding won in 2014 came from ICT, research grants from the European Research Council (ERC) and training grants for researchers (Marie Skodowska-Curie Actions); advanced materials; advanced manufacturing, and processing, biotechnology and agrifood,” the Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English TD said.

Irish businesses achieved more than €35m of the total won in 2014, out of which three-quarters went to SMEs.

The Minister continued: “I welcome this financial success but I am also equally conscious of the importance of Irish researchers and companies participating in the Horizon 2020 programme so that they get to collaborate and innovate with the best and brightest that Europe has to offer, therefore resulting in further excellence in our national system.”

Horizon 2020 has less red tape

Open to individual researchers, higher education institutes, research-performing organisations and private industry, including SMEs, Horizon 2020 has a simpler structure than previous programmes like FP7, with less red tape making it easier to apply.

Enterprise Ireland leads the Irish Horizon 2020 Network, consisting of national contact points and national delegates from various research and industry agencies and departments.

The achievement was revealed at the Industry Leadership Day in Cork, one of many events to support Irish endeavours in Horizon 2020.

“Information days are a key step in positioning researchers and companies for success in future Horizon 2020 calls,” said Dr Sergio Fernandez-Caballos, one of Enterprise Ireland’s EU advisors

“By facilitating networking between these communities, and providing critical  information, these days can lead to the development of quality, strong and successful funding proposals.”

Researchers image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years