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Sherlock praises continued success of Irish researchers - EU funding now tops €362 million

The Minister for Research and Innovation, Séan Sherlock, TD, today (Monday) welcomed the continuing success of Irish researchers in winning €362 European funding for international collaborative research projects. “Irish researchers are engaging in pan-European research projects to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the EU, using funding from Europe’s €50 billion Research and Development fund, the Seventh EU Framework Programme (FP7)”.

According to Minister Sherlock, “The EU research agenda continues to complement our national priorities with an emphasis on moving new discoveries from the research stage to the marketplace, allowing Ireland to play our part in major societal challenges such as tackling diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s and building a low-carbon economy”.

The current Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) offers Ireland's SMEs, multinationals, and research institutions valuable opportunities to participate in high-calibre research collaborations with our European counterparts. Congratulating the 11 member organisations of the Irish FP7 Support Network* which is co-ordinated by Enterprise Ireland, Minister Sherlock said “I am particularly pleased to see the high level of activity of Irish researchers both from academia and industry. Latest figures show that since the start of FP7 in 2007, 4,965 applicants from Irish-based organisations took part in proposal submissions requesting European funding. From these proposals, 1,137 applicants were successful, receiving €362m, giving an overall Irish success rate of 22.7%, above the European Member State average of 22.1%. This is a very positive indication of the prospects for Irish researchers’.

Minister Sherlock was speaking ahead of the meeting in Brussels of the EU Competitiveness Council which is making plans for the next EU research and innovation funding programme, Horizon 2020, which will commence in 2014. The Minister said he will take the opportunity to brief the Council on a range of initiatives announced last week in the Action Plan for Jobs.

“We need a sophisticated and more accessible financing environment that is built around helping our companies to succeed and is better equipped to support business growth and innovation. Ireland is working very much in tandem with European level initiatives in this respect”, the Minister concluded.

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Notes for Editors

* The FP7 National Support Office (www.fp7ireland.com), led by the National Director for FP7 (based in Enterprise Ireland), is charged with optimising Irish involvement in the programme.

The National Support Office provides a range of incentives for FP7 participation including travel support for academics, proposal preparation support for academic coordinators and feasibility study support for companies (as participants or coordinators). The Office coordinates the national support network for FP7 which has 11 member organisations; the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government, Enterprise Ireland, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Higher Education Authority, the Health Research Board, the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering & Technology, the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Irish Universities Association, Sustainable Energy Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland.

For further information please contact:

Roisin McCann, Press Officer, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, +353 1 631 2200, press.office@djei.ie

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