Ireland set for €1bn EU research fund

Ireland could be in line for up to €1bn in EU funding from a research and innovation package which will be negotiated during the country’s six- month presidency of the EU, which begins next week.

Seán Sherlock, junior research and innovation minister, will chair talks with 27 research ministers of the €80bn Horizon 2020 programme, which will fund innovation for six years from 2014.

Research in the area of ageing — on which Ireland has been to the fore — has been identified as one area where funding should be focused.

This means research which could be in line for funding includes work on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and embedding up-to-date technologies into homes to encourage positive living.

Ireland has already received €438m under the previous innovation funding package and this is expected to reach €600m by the end of 2013.

According to Mr Sherlock: “If Ireland’s researchers and innovative companies continue to excel in research areas such as ICT, health, and nanotechnology, we will be well positioned to exceed that figure under the new Horizon 2020 programme.”

The final €80bn sum will depend on an overall agreement being achieved by the European Council on the EU budget for 2014 to 2020.

Mr Sherlock is confident discussions on Horizons 2020 will be concluded during Ireland’s EU presidency.

“The overall objective is to ensure that research and innovation plays its part in helping Europe recover from the crisis and return to growth and jobs.”


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