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EU Research and Enterprise Ministers to discuss investment in research and promotion of SMEs

01.05.2013, 13:00 GMT

Ministers Bruton and Sherlock hosting the Competitiveness Council in Dublin with a focus on maximising EU jobs and growth through targeted strategies across research and industry. Special attention to be given to SMEs.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, and Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, will jointly chair an informal meeting of the Competitiveness Council this week.

Minister Sherlock will chair the meeting of EU Research Ministers on Thursday. Ministers are set to discuss how best to maximise the potential for jobs and growth from the investments being made in research and innovation. The Ministers will receive presentations from leading figures from the industry, research and SME sectors, including Dr Martin Curley of Intel Labs Europe, Professor Fergus Shanahan of University College Cork (UCC) and Dr Kai Engel of A.T. Kearney. The European Commission will be represented by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research and Innovation.

Minister Sherlock - “Getting the approach and focus on research and innovation right will be crucial to ensuring the future prosperity of the EU."

"That’s why we need consensus on how best to maximise the benefits of research investment in terms of jobs, growth and European society. I hope Ministers will gain some valuable insights from the leading experts who will share their experience with us and I look forward to a rewarding debate.”

Minister Bruton will chair the informal meeting of EU Enterprise and Industry Ministers on Friday. The focus for Ministers will be enabling SMEs to drive European growth and job creation. Ministers will hear from a number of leading authorities on SMEs. Speakers include Professor Josh Lerner, Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School who will speak on SME access to finance, former winner of Irish Entrepreneur of the Year, Liam Shanahan, who will identify the key measures required for SMEs to internationalise and Professor Thomas Cooney from Dublin institute of Technology (DIT) who will speak on cities and regions as drivers of entrepreneurship, innovation, economic growth and jobs. The European Commission will be represented by Antonio Tajani, Commission Vice President and Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship.

Minister Bruton - "If each EU SME could create just one new job, we would generate 23 million jobs throughout the EU. I look forward to a productive discussion on how EU governments can best assist our entrepreneurs to face up to this challenge.”

Minister Bruton said: “Given that Ireland’s priorities during our EU Presidency are stability, jobs and growth, I’m delighted to welcome Enterprise and Research Ministers to Dublin to focus on measures to maximise growth and jobs. SMEs are the engines of growth and job creation."


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Cian Connaughton, Media Enquiries




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Róisín McCann, Press Officer




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