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Ireland performing well in €50 billion European R&D Fund

Irish researchers are engaging in pan-European research projects to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the EU, using funding from the largest European R&D funding programme ever, the Seventh EU Framework Programme, announced the Irish Minister for Science, Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources, Conor Lenihan T.D. today (30th June 2009).

In the first 2 years of the programme, researchers from Irish companies and higher education institutions won funding totalling €107million for collaborative research projects in areas like ICT, health, nano-technology and energy research. Minister Lenihan was speaking at the FP7 Ireland Conference taking place in Dublin today. FP7 is the short name for the Seventh EU Framework Programme for R&D which runs from 2007 to 2013. FP7 is designed to respond to Europe's employment needs, competitiveness and quality of life, funding research in priority areas such as environment, health, and IT. The €50 billion fund is seen as a major asset in the EU’s fight against the current economic crisis with its ring-fenced budget growing every year by 13% until 2013. Speaking at the event Minister Lenihan said; “The EU agenda complements our national priorities with an emphasis on moving new discoveries from the research stage to the marketplace, allowing Ireland to play our part in building a low-carbon economy and tackling diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease”. FP7 offers Ireland's SMEs, multinationals, and research institutions valuable opportunities to participate in high-caliber research collaborations with our European counterparts. “I am particularly pleased to see that SMEs account for over 75% of the funding to private industry and encourage companies in Ireland to avail of the opportunities that FP7 offers” he said. Dr. Imelda Lambkin, Enterprise Ireland and Director of the national support network for FP7 in Ireland said; “The Irish success rate ahead of the overall EU average means we are in line with the national target of winning €600m in EU R&D funding by 2013.” ENDS