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Irish Presidency concludes negotiations on €70bn EU Horizon 2020 programme

25.06.2013, 18:00 GMT


Agreement on research and investment programme will boost innovation jobs and growth. New programme now set to start in January 2014

Following intense negotiations, the Irish Presidency secured agreement on one of its most significant priorities, Horizon 2020. This agreement provides a tangible expression of the Irish Presidency themes of jobs and growth.

Welcoming tonight’s provisional agreement on a new research programme for the EU for the period 2014-2020, Minister of State for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, currently Chair of the Council of EU Research Ministers, said:

“Research and innovation are drivers of growth – and a strategic approach to research and innovation will develop, diffuse and drive research across the European Union. The new programme is an innovative successor to what has gone before. 

Minister Sherlock - "It is a programme which provides for funding research excellence, encouragement of technology diffusion, the enabling of public-private partnerships, engagement with SMEs and wider industry, and in this way will contribute to the EU’s economic recovery.”

The programme consists of three pillars:

  • Excellent Science - which will include funding for the European Research Centre, vital infrastructures and future and emerging technologies.
  • Industrial Leadership - the truly innovative element of the programme as it contains specific supports for SMEs and for enabling industrial technologies such as nanotechnologies, biotechnologies and ICT. 
  • Societal challenges - which will help ensure that research is directed at areas of most concern to citizens and business such as health, climate, food, security, transport and energy.

The programme will use a simplified funding model which means that a greater number of organisations can access the programme, which in turn means greater diversity in research, greater opportunities for business and greater benefits for the economy at large. The inclusion of specific measures for widening of participation will also further enhance a diverse range of research and research bodies. Importantly, funding, via the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, for projects in the areas of healthy living and active ageing, raw materials, food and added value manufacturing was also included.

Minister Sherlock noted:

“Research, development and innovation are integral components of the EU’s economic recovery. This engagement with SMEs helps ensure economic benefit from research conducted and contributes to job creation. It also enhances the research environment and reputation of Europe as knowledge based-economy and ensures that we have in place a framework which helps embed existing research excellence, existing employment, foster further job growth and creates the conditions for future technology development which will benefit all society.”                                                                                                                 

This provisional agreement now goes to the Committee of Permanent Representatives for endorsement. The indicative budget of €70billion is subject to final agreement on the Multi-Financial Framework (MFF).

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