Published: Thu, 21 November 2013
Sean Kelly, MEP of the Year for Research & Innovation, has welcomed the support of the Irish EU Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn who said the proposal to secure €1 billion in Horizon 2020 funds for Irish-led projects is an “ambitious but achievable target”.
As MEPs prepared to vote through the next multi-billion round of EU science and research funding in Strasbourg today, Mr Kelly said: “When I organised and hosted the March 2013 ‘EU Science, Global Collaboration’ week-long conference in Brussels, I said Ireland should aim to secure €1 billion in Horizon 2020 funds for research and science projects.
“By hosting the week-long event, I brought together scientists, policy-makers, researchers and universities to raise awareness of the available funding and to encourage Irish researchers to apply for funding.
“It was a huge success and many important contacts were made during that week across the industry which I hope will lead to exciting, innovative new projects at EU level.
Speaking during the March 2013 conference, Mr Kelly stated that “a strong research and development sector is vital for Ireland’s economic recovery. The Horizon 2020 programme for 2014-2020 carries a budget of €80 billion and Ireland should benefit from at least €1 billion of that.” The South MEP hosted the event as a member of the Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee and in conjunction with the Irish EU Presidency.
“I have repeatedly stressed the need for significant levels of funding for R&D capacity building with a strong focus on innovation in order to drive sustainable economic growth across Europe,” he added.