Ireland’s leading experts in industry and academia gathered at Farmleigh House in Dublin yesterday evening to explore ways to reach an ambitious joint Ireland/Northern Ireland government target as part of the Horizon 2020 programme.
Horizon 2020 is the European Commission’s 7-year, €80 billion Research and Innovation scheme, designed to boost job creation and economic growth across Europe between 2014 and 2020.
The aim is that a total of €175m will be drawn down by North South research partnerships across Ireland over the course of the scheme. Good progress on this target has been made to date, with €68.5m drawn down by 56 North South partnerships by March of this year. However, a recent study by InterTradeIreland found that 65% of researchers and decision makers from industry and academia are unaware of the ambitious target, which prompted the organisation to host an event aimed at ensuring the current momentum of Horizon 2020 funding applications is maintained for the remaining years of the programme.
Commenting, InterTradeIreland’s Science, Technology and Innovation Manager, Karen McCallion said: “As chair of the All-Island Horizon 2020 Steering Group, InterTradeIreland is keen to continue raising awareness of the joint drawdown target set by both governments to ensure the island of Ireland continues to be at the forefront of research and innovation. We want researchers to be aware of this programme as a viable source of funding as well as the suite of targeted supports that InterTradeIreland can provide to them such as bespoke training initiatives, which focus on the sectors in which both Ireland and Northern Ireland have complementary strengths.”
Among those in attendance were Pat Breen, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection and guest speaker Alan Cross, Deputy Head of Research and Innovation at the European Commission. Attendees also enjoyed a panel discussion involving Prof. Jane Ohlmeyer of the Irish Research Council, Dr. Imelda Lambkin of Horizon 2020, Prof. Brian Meenan of Ulster University, Prof. Chris Elliot of Queen’s University, Belfast and Dr. Michael Ryan of Science Foundation Ireland.