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EU Ministers discuss how to foster jobs and growth from EU research and innovation investment

02.05.2013, 17:30 GMT

Advancing agreement on Horizon 2020 a clear focus on first day of Dublin informal meeting of Competitiveness Council.

EU Research and Innovation Ministers must focus on maximising job creation from the billions spent annually within the EU on research and innovation, according to Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD.

Minister Sherlock was today chairing a meeting of EU Research and Innovation Ministers in Dublin Castle. The meeting was the first day of a two-day informal meeting of the EU’s Competitiveness Council, being held as part of the Irish Presidency of the European Union. The second day of the Competitiveness Council will take place tomorrow when Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD will chair a meeting of EU Enterprise and Industry Ministers.   

During today’s Council, Ministers discussed how best to foster job creation and economic growth from the billion Euro annual investments being made in research and innovation within the EU. The meeting was also addressed by the Irish EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.

Minister Sherlock - “Research and innovation are central to job creation and economic growth, both priorities of the Irish Presidency. They are areas where the public and private sector within the EU spend billions each year. That is why I invited EU Ministers to Dublin, to discuss how we can maximise job creation and economic growth from this massive yearly spend.”

Ministers received presentations from a number of Irish experts in research and innovation. Professor Fergus Shanahan, who is Chairman of University College Cork’s (UCC) Department of Medicine and also Director of UCC’s Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, gave Ministers the perspective of an academic involved in innovative research. Dr. Martin Curley, Director of Intel Labs Europe spoke about commercialising research and innovation. Dr Kai Engel, Partner in A.T. Kearney GmBH gave an overview of the issues faced by a European SME involved in innovation.

Minister Sherlock - “Our discussions touched on a number of important issues including achieving higher levels of participation in R&D programmes and how best Europe’s universities can promote innovation. We also discussed best practice for “innovation management” for SMEs and improving the effectiveness of public innovation supports for SMEs.”

“The Irish Presidency still aims to achieve political consensus on the Horizon 2020 funding before the end of June. Other priorities for Ireland within the research and innovation brief are prioritising are the completion of the European Research Area and increasing the innovative capacity of SMEs.”

Read the Irish Presidency priorities for the Competitiveness Council in the Irish Presidency programme.



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Cian Connaughton, Media Enquiries




picture of Róisín McCann, Press Officer

Róisín McCann, Press Officer




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