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Research and Innovation key to sustainable job growth

EU funding for research in Ireland exceeds €400 million 

Minister Halligan urges innovative SMEs to apply for EU funding   

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, announced the latest results on Ireland’s success in Horizon 2020, the EU programme to support Research and Innovation. 

Ireland has won €424 million from 2014 to May 2017 in competitive, EU funding from Horizon 2020. Higher Education Institutions accounted for €233 million of the total and companies, €151 million. The funding for companies included €94 million awarded to SMEs. 

Ireland’s top-performing programme area in Horizon 2020 continues to be the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, which support the training and mobility of researchers and which has yielded €75 million. 

Minister John Halligan said “Once again Ireland’s performance in this highly competitive and prestigious programme illustrates the excellence of the research in our Higher Education Institutions and demonstrates how innovative our companies are”. The Minister added “In the autumn the European Commission will launch the Horizon 2020 work programme for 2018-2020, which will have a total budget of €30 billion. I would urge all researchers and innovative companies to capitalise on our track record and participate in the programme. The benefits of participation extend far beyond the funding – participation enables networking and collaboration with the best researchers and most innovative companies across the EU.” 

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government said “I am delighted with Ireland’s performance, to date, in the competitive EU Horizon 2020 research programme. Going forward, we must ensure that our excellent researchers in academia and industry continue to lead and win in Horizon 2020 and we must be ambitious to lead and win large, impactful European research projects. Research and Innovation matter for our future. Over time, Ireland’s performance in scientific research and innovation will determine our place in the world: enhancing productivity, boosting competitiveness, creating jobs, tackling societal challenges and preserving the values of enlightenment and democracy”. 

Dr Imelda Lambkin, National Director for Horizon 2020, said “At this mid-point in the programme it is time to take stock of our achievement and to build momentum for the final Horizon 2020 period. The National Support Network for Horizon 2020, led by Enterprise Ireland, is particularly looking for newcomers – researchers and companies that so far have not taken the leap into Horizon 2020. Researchers who work with the national support team typically double their success rates in the programme. Our team is ready to provide hands-on assistance for the upcoming calls”. 


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Horizon 2020 is the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. It is one of seven flagship initiatives in Europe 2020, the European Union’s ten-year jobs and growth strategy. It has a budget of €75 billion and runs from 2014 to 2020. Horizon 2020 funding (i.e. grants) is awarded on a competitive basis to researchers and companies across three main pillars: Excellent Science, Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies and Societal Challenges.

Further information on Horizon 2020 is available at : or