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Continued North South research collaboration can deliver €175 million in funding

Continued North South research collaboration can deliver €175 million in funding

03 December 14

- New North South initiative positions SMEs across the island to avail of Horizon 2020 opportunities to boost growth and jobs -

At InterTradeIreland’s fourth all island conference, ‘Collaborate to Innovate – Horizon 2020 Opportunity and Support’, Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Northern Ireland’s Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment today launched a new joint-initiative. The ‘InterTradeIreland Horizon 2020 Strategic Action Plan’ sets out how we will achieve the target of €175 million in funding from Horizon 2020. It sets out a strategy of collaboration and cooperation amongst North South institutions and how aligning the support structures of both administrations will help SMEs interested in growing their business through R&D and innovation secure Horizon 2020 funding.

The €80 billion EU Horizon 2020 programme, which commenced in 2014 and runs to the end of 2020, provides significant opportunities for Ireland’s economy and society and is open to researchers, research organisations, companies or other organisations through competitive calls.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Richard Bruton, TD said; “The international collaborative nature of Horizon 2020 makes it ideally suited for Ireland and Northern Ireland to work together to mutual benefit. The importance of North South collaboration is recognised by both Administrations and InterTradeIreland has a key role to play in this. Deriving more benefit, in terms of jobs and growth, from our research spend is a key priority in the Action Plan for Jobs, and this initiative has a key role to play in ensuring that more SMEs get involved in innovation and ultimately turn good ideas into good jobs”.

Speaking at the event the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment Permanent Secretary Andrew McCormick said: “Horizon 2020 presents significant opportunities for Northern Ireland companies and academic institutions to engage in ground breaking research and innovation activities. The programme presents invaluable opportunities for our local SME's in particular to collaborate on an international basis with other companies and leading research institutions on the development of new products and services.

The Secretary continued:“We have an opportunity to capitalise on the existing strong links in research and innovation between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Through InterTradeIreland, both governments are adopting a more focussed, coherent approach to cooperation in innovation. I am pleased to say that this work is paying dividends. The early statistics from Horizon 2020 show that the number of successful collaborations between Northern Ireland and Republic Of Ireland researchers continues to rise. To ensure that we build on this success Minister Foster and Minister Bruton and have agreed a new Strategic Action Plan for Cooperation on Horizon 2020. This Strategic Action Plan sets a target of €175million from North/South collaboration and details actions for cooperation which will drive increased success in Horizon 2020 for both governments.”

Aidan Gough, Director of Strategy and Policy, InterTradeIreland said “the launch of the InterTradeIreland Horizon 2020 Strategic Action Plan is testimony to the high priority both jurisdictions place on this important source of research funding. It is also a clear recognition of the unique opportunity that cross-border cooperation offers to help Northern Ireland and Ireland in achieving ambitious drawdown targets. This year’s conference brings together the support framework in both jurisdictions with potential applicants and interested parties to build on the growing number of successful North South applications”.

North / South collaboration for EU funding has many advantages including no language barrier, proximity for meetings and interaction and close relationships between the key supporting agencies including InterTradeIreland, Enterprise Ireland and Invest NI.

InterTradeIreland is active in facilitating such partnerships through a range of supports. These include travel vouchers, Horizon 2020 Web Portal and App, targeted ‘Focus On’ events and a dedicated web resource providing guidance, advice and housing links to other key websites.

The conference today attracted over 300 delegates from industry, academia and government representatives which provided a unique networking opportunity to develop collaboration opportunities.

Interested parties can access information about the range of supports on offer from InterTradeIreland at http://www.intertradeireland.com/horizon2020