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Ministers Humphreys and Halligan welcome Commissioner Moedas to Dublin and Ireland’s significant engagement with the European Innovation Council

Ministers Humphreys and Halligan welcomed Commissioner Carlos Moedas to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in Dublin where he met with a representative group of Ireland-based research and innovation stakeholders

During his visit to Dublin, Commissioner Moedas announced that eight innovative Irish SMEs are to receive funding from the European Innovation Council (EIC). He also announced three Irish appointments to the new EIC Advisory Board. Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland will be the Chair and is joined by Dermot Diamond of Dublin City University and Valeria Nicolosi of Trinity College Dublin.

Minister Heather Humphreys commented that “Commissioner Moedas has been a key figure in advancing European research and innovation and we are delighted to welcome him to Dublin today to engage with Irish stakeholders. I would also like to extend my congratulations to the three Ireland-based members of the new EIC Pilot Advisory Board as well as the successful recipients of EIC funding. Developing our innovation capacity is a key part of Future Jobs Ireland, our whole-of-Government plan to prepare our businesses and workers for the future.”

Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan stated “I am delighted to welcome Commissioner Moedas and highlight the significant efforts and successes of Irish researchers and businesses in Horizon 2020. I am greatly encouraged by the significant collaboration and support provided to Irish businesses by our research community. This demonstrates the great importance of an open innovation network which benefits the research and business communities, as well as Irish and EU citizens, by creating jobs and solving the challenges facing modern society. I would encourage any SMEs or researchers to contact our support networks in Enterprise Ireland to explore participating in Horizon 2020”.

Ireland has already secured €760 million in funding under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. €413.3 million of this was secured by the Higher Education Sector and €255.7 million was secured by companies of which €161.3 million was awarded to SMEs. The new awards announced today will be in addition to this total.

Commissioner Moedas commented that: “The European Innovation Council is about supporting the best innovators to put Europe at the forefront of the next wave of innovations. I would like to congratulate those Irish companies that were selected in tough competition for the latest round of EIC funding”.

The EIC was set up by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 to turn science into new business and accelerate the scale-up of innovative companies. Currently in its pilot phase, the European Innovation Council will become a full-fledged reality from 2021 under the next EU research and innovation programme Horizon Europe with a proposed € 10 billion budget.

This success will help ensure that Ireland is well positioned to embrace innovation and technological change and is fully aligned with the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland and Innovation 2020 strategies.

In addition to the headline funding received in grants, Irish businesses have been assisted through financing and guarantees provided by Innovfin, which is an instrument funded through Horizon 2020, and operated by the European Investment Bank. Loans of more than €27 million have been made available to Irish firms to date, and Innovfin guarantees have been put in place to underwrite a potential €300 million in lending to Irish SMEs.

Note to the editor:

Future Jobs Ireland
Future Jobs Ireland 2019, is the first in a series of annual reports as part of a multi-annual framework. Future Jobs Ireland outlines longer-term ambitions for the future of the economy out until 2025 taking account of the challenges ahead. Each year, Future Jobs Ireland will set out the steps to deliver on the ambitions with the ultimate goal of increasing the resilience of our economy and future-proofing it.

Each of the Five Pillars of Future Jobs Ireland has high level targets for 2025. Future Jobs Ireland includes 26 ambitions which contain 127 deliverables (actions) for completion in 2019. Each deliverable has a quantifiable output, a lead Department and timeframe.

In terms of implementation, Future Jobs Ireland will be a standing agenda item overseen by Cabinet Committee A. Progress on deliverables will be reported quarterly to the Senior Official Group. Biannually, more detailed progress reports will be made to Government and subsequently published.

Key deliverables for 2019 under each pillar include:

Pillar 1: Embracing Innovation and Technological Change
• Deliver important policy initiatives including an Industry 4.0 Strategy, a National Digital Strategy, and a National Artificial Intelligence Strategy
• Form Top Teams to progress areas of opportunity for Ireland beginning with Artificial Intelligence, GovTech and Offshore Renewables
• Develop Ireland as a centre for developing and testing new technologies by, for example:
o extending the EI/IDA Irish Manufacturing Research Additive Manufacturing technology centre to include cobotics and AR/VR,
o progressing the Advanced Manufacturing Centre,
o expanding the Tyndall National Institute,
o commencing the development of a National Centre of Excellence on High Performance and Nearly Zero Energy Buildings
o commencing the development of a National Design Centre
• With NESC, develop a strategy for Transition Teams to help the transition of vulnerable enterprises and workers

Pillar 2: Improving SME Productivity
• Deliver a new female entrepreneurship strategy
• Develop a new investment funding facility to assist indigenous Irish companies in scaling their businesses
• Encourage the growth of clusters where enterprises can grow and help each other and deepen linkages between foreign and Irish owned businesses
• Increase the impact of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and increase SME take-up of Enterprise Ireland (EI) and LEO productivity supports
• Drive productivity growth in the construction and retail sectors

Pillar 3: Enhancing Skills and Developing and Attracting Talent
• Offer career advice to workers through the Public Employment Service
• Engrain lifelong learning and offer career enhancing opportunities to workers
• Ensure our economic migration system is responsive to our labour market needs
• Promote flexible training options
• Provide training in emerging technologies

Pillar 4: Increasing Participation in the Labour Force
• Conduct a national consultation on extending flexible working options
• Develop guidelines for employers on flexible working options
• Develop a return to work service (e.g. for women returning to the workplace) as part of the Public Employment Service
• Improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities
• Provide incentives for people who wish to work longer

Pillar 5: Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy
• Position Ireland as a centre in research, development and innovation, for smart grids, buildings and renewable technologies
• Review the regional dimension of the economic and employment implications of the transition to a low carbon economy
• Promote electric vehicles and achieve over 10,000 electric vehicles on the road by the end of the year
• Deliver a national deep retrofit programme for existing housing stock.

Horizon 2020

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.
Enterprise Ireland leads the national support network for Horizon 2020, working to increase participation by Irish companies and academic institutions in the EU’s main instrument for funding research in Europe. Led by Enterprise Ireland, the national support network for Horizon 2020 has 9 member organisations; the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Enterprise Ireland, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Health Research Board, the Irish Research Council, the Irish Universities Association, the Marine Institute, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.
For more information visit

Information on the EIC and the EIC Advisory Board can be found at European Innovation Council and EIC Advisory Board


The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.
For further information please contact Press Office, D/Business, Enterprise and Innovation, or (01) 631-2200
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