Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD attending the Research and Space parts of the Competitiveness Council this week in Brussels, welcomed the agreement reached by Ministers on a key element of the future EU funding package for research and innovation for the period 2014 to 2020, Horizon 2020.
“Ireland’s performance under the current 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development has so far resulted in awards of €438 million to Irish participants and we are on track to achieve our target of €600 million from FP7. If Ireland’s researchers and innovative companies continue to excel in research areas such as ICT, health and nanotechnology we will be well positioned to exceed that figure under the new Horizon 2020 programme” stated Minister Sherlock.
During the Irish Presidency, Minister Sherlock will chair the discussions of the 27 EU Member States on this package which has a proposed budget of €80 billion. The final amount will depend on an overall agreement being achieved by the European Council on the EU Budget for 2014 to 2020.
The agreement reached yesterday covers the details of the priority areas for EU funding in the next period and the operational and management procedures for the programme. One of the issues on which agreement was reached was measures to assist member states and regions with less developed research systems to participate in high quality research projects.
Ministers also discussed ways to increase cooperation on research and innovation with countries such as China, India and Brazil in order to more effectively address global problems such as climate change, health issues and energy requirements,
Minister Sherlock outlined Ireland’s priorities in relation to research and innovation and the space sector during our Presidency of the Council for the six months beginning next month. “The overall objective is to ensure that research and innovation plays its part in helping Europe recover from the crisis and return to growth and jobs” stated Minister Sherlock. A key issue will be to achieve agreement on all remaining elements of the Horizon 2020 funding package.