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Irish delegation to brief European Commission officials on Ireland’s success in FP7.

A delegation from Ireland’s National Support Network for FP7 was in Brussels to host its annual networking event with the European Commission.

The event was an integral part of Irish efforts to position Ireland for success in the Seventh European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) which is an important element in the internationalisation of Irish research. This networking event helps to build and maintain strong working relationships between Irish representatives and the European Commission. The team initially brief Ambassador Tom Hanney and members of the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU, Ireland's biggest diplomatic mission abroad, whose main function is to promote and represent Ireland's interests in the Council of Ministers, which is at the core of EU decision making. Senior European Commission staff received a detailed briefing on Ireland’s many notable successes in FP7 to date. Discussions on how Irish researchers and companies can participate more fully and bring even greater benefit to the Irish economy will follow this briefing. These discussions were particularly timely as the EU is in the planning stages for Horizon 2020. Ireland is taking this opportunity to discuss different ways of operating and identifying strengths and examples of best practice as the shape of Horizon 2020 starts to emerge. Once the briefings have concluded, members of Ireland’s National Support Network for FP7 will host a networking event where invited Irish officials guests from the Commission, the Perm Rep, the Cabinet of the Commissioner for research, innovation and science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and other guests from the Commission will have the opportunity to discuss the details of the latest R&D developments in Ireland. The networking event is now an annual fixture in the FP7 calendar as it has contributed to the development of strong relationships with decision-makers in the European Commission. Catriona Ward, Manager of the Irish Liaison Office in Brussels on behalf of Enterprise Ireland, said “a key objective of this event is to inform the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU about FP7 and Horizon 2020 and the significance of these programmes for Ireland. We want to illustrate that research funded by FP7 has a wide ranging effect on various committees attended by members of the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU, such as industry, agriculture and environment for example”. She continued, “Additional benefits include the opportunity for the FP7 team to gain a deeper understanding of the work of the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU, and how it operates in Ireland’s best interests, which is particularly relevant in the run up to the Irish presidency of the EU in 2013”.


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