Nearly 600 Irish projects bag more than €250m in Horizon 2020 funding

25 Mar 2016

It’s a funding bonanza for 588 Irish research projects, which have been awarded a total of €251m in funding under the guise of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme so far.

The EU’s Horizon 2020 (H2020) funding has proven a boon for Irish research since it launched last year with a budget of €80bn to fund advanced research projects across the union until 2020.

In particular, Ireland has recorded a spectacular success in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie sub-programme of Horizon 2020, geared towards increasing the amount of training of researchers.

In the most recent round of funding, Ireland won €18.5m – the equivalent of 35pc of the available Marie Skłodowska-Curie budget, bringing Ireland’s total received from this sub-programme to €49m.

In total, Irish research organisations and the Government have been aiming to secure a total of €1.25bn over the six-year period with this amount totalled so far covering the last two years.

According to Enterprise Ireland, of that funding, the higher education system accounted for €157m of the total, while companies based in Ireland accounted for a further €72m.

‘Irish researchers among the best in EU’

Speaking of the achievement, the acting minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English, said: “I am delighted with this performance to date, which clearly shows that Ireland is on track to achieve its ambitious national target of €1.25bn.

“This success bears testimony to the excellence of research in Ireland, both in our higher education system and in our innovative companies. It shows that our researchers are among the best in the EU.”

He continued: “Important as the funding is, participation in Horizon 2020 provides invaluable additional benefits to the participants, ranging from networking to opportunities to collaborate with Europe’s best researchers and most innovative companies.

“So I would encourage all researchers, particularly those in companies, to investigate the many funding possibilities in Horizon 2020.”

Euro note image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic