News & Events

Ireland achieves €127 million in EU Research funding

Minister English calls on Industry to collaborate and innovate under Horizon 2020

Target under Action Plan for Jobs 2014 exceeded by €27 million

Mr. Damien English T.D., Minister for Skills Research and Innovation, today (28 July 2015) congratulated Ireland’s researchers and companies for their €127 million success in the first year of Horizon 2020, the current EU programme funding research and innovation. Ireland’s success exceeded the Action Plan for Jobs 2014 national target for 2014 by 27% 

Speaking at a Horizon 2020 Industry Leadership Day at University College Cork (UCC) in Cork, the Minister commended Ireland’s researchers and companies for the outcome of their efforts: ‘In the particularly competitive environment for EU research and innovation funding, surpassing our national target by 27% and achieving €127 million is a great achievement.’

The Minister went on to say that: ‘85% of funding won in 2014 came from ICT, research grants from the European Research Council (ERC) and training grants for researchers (‘Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions’), Advanced Materials, Advanced Manufacturing and Processing, Biotechnology, Health and Agrifood.

‘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.’

The Industry Leadership Day in Cork is one of the many events and activities which support Irish endeavours in Horizon 2020. This event today is aimed at increasing awareness of the industry related opportunities in Horizon 2020 as this programme is more innovation focussed than previous programmes. Ireland’s companies have achieved over €35 Million of the total won in 2014, of which almost three quarters went to SMEs.

Enterprise Ireland leads the National Support Network for Horizon 2020 and organised today’s event with the UCC Research Office. Dr Sergio Fernandez-Caballos, one of Enterprise Ireland’s EU advisors said: ‘Information days are a key step in positioning researchers and companies for success in future Horizon 2020 calls. By facilitating networking between these communities, and providing critical information, these days can lead to the development of quality, strong and successful funding proposals.’

The Minister concluded by commending the Horizon 2020 National Support Network for their work  and said: ‘I want to encourage industry in particular to build on the success to date and engage further. Horizon 2020, with its focus on competitiveness and smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs, offers more opportunity for industry participation than ever before.’


For further information: Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

01- 6312200 or


John Allen Images

Notes to Editors

Horizon 2020 is the current EU framework programme for research and innovation. With a budget of nearly €80 billion, Horizon 2020 will run over seven years from 2014 – 2020. Horizon 2020 is the successor programme to FP7 (Framework Programme 7) and is the largest ever research and innovation programme in the EU. Horizon 2020 has a simpler structure than previous programmes with less red tape making it easier to apply. For general information and further details about each of these pillars, visit the main webpage of Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is open to everyone including individual researchers, higher education institutes, research performing organisations and private industry including SMEs. The most significant new industrial development aspects include a focus on innovation and the introduction of an instrument which allows innovative SMEs to apply for substantial funding (millions of euros) without the need to collaborate with European partners. 

Enterprise Ireland leads the Irish Horizon 2020 Network consisting of National Contact Points and National Delegates from various research and industry agencies and Departments. Further information and key contacts are available at

Industrial Leadership in Horizon 2020  

The Horizon 2020 Industrial Leadership pillar aims to speed up development of the technologies and innovations that will underpin tomorrow's businesses and help innovative European SMEs to grow into world-leading companies. 

Its main objectives are:

  • "Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies": this will provide dedicated support for research, development and demonstration and, where appropriate, for standardisation and certification, on information and communications technology (ICT), nanotechnology, advanced materials, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and processing and space.  

  • "Access to risk finance": this will aim to overcome deficits in the availability of debt and equity finance for R&D and innovation-driven companies and projects at all stages of development.  

  • "Innovation in SMEs": this will provide SME-tailored support to stimulate all forms of innovation in SMEs, targeting those with the potential to grow and internationalise across the single market and beyond.