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Irish FP7 network visit Brussels

Ireland's FP7 Support Network visit to Brussels

Following Commissioner Potocnik’s first visit to Ireland last week, the Irish brought a bit of craic to Brussels on Monday. Craic is a gaelic word that means a bit of fun - going out for a great time and good humour. It’s a very Irish expression. But it wasn’t all about fun. Members of the Irish Support Network for The Seventh EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) travelled to Brussels to meet with their fellow countrymen based in the European Commission to foster new and stronger working relationships and to provide an up-to-date vision of science, technology and innovation in Ireland today. The Irish team announced that their Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin T.D had received the approval of the Cabinet Sub-Committee On Science And Technology to increase the target for Irish participation in FP7 from €400 million to €600 million. Over recent months work has taken place within the National Support Network for FP7 to establish a set of indicators by which Irish participation in FP7 will be monitored and to propose a new, more detailed set of targets that should be set for Irish participation in the programme up to the end of 2013. Based on the work undertaken, the total share of Community funding to be targeted by Ireland over the lifetime of FP7 (2007 to 2013) is now in the region of €600 million. This revised target is considered realistic yet sufficiently challenging and takes into account the potential for Irish participation in different parts of the programme. The National Director for FP7, Dr. Imelda Lambkin, stated that early indications for Irish participation in FP7 are extremely promising. Enterprise Ireland has provided more financial support to academic researchers and indigenous companies for proposal preparation in the first 10 months of FP7 than in the whole of the previous programme (2002-2006) suggesting a high level of activity on the ground. Multiple project proposals with Irish participation have passed evaluation thresholds and are currently undergoing contract negotiation. Successful organisations span Ireland’s multinational corporations, indigenous industries and academia (including the institutes of technology). In the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Health and Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies (NMP) thematic areas, enterprise participation will account for greater than 30% of the funding with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) accounting for a large proportion of this suggesting that Ireland’s enterprises are already responding to the positive measures such as the increased financial contribution for SMEs put in place by the European Commission. The networking event took place in the Wild Geese pub, a fitting location for the Irish diaspora given its reputation as a provider of good Irish beers. Further Information on the National Support Network for FP7 in Ireland: http://www.fp7ireland.com

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