Attendees at the fifth annual all-island InterTradeIreland ‘Collaborate to Innovate Conference: Delivering Competitive Proposals’, held recently in Belfast, heard that the value of North South R&D activity won in the Horizon 2020 Programme to date is €19.36m. This represents a 62% increase when compared to the same period in Framework Programme 7 (FP7).
There are very ambitious national targets set by Northern Ireland and Ireland. Supported by the all-island steering group for Horizon 2020 with representatives from Government departments and support networks in both jurisdictions, InterTradeIreland’s Strategic Action Plan for Horizon 2020, sets out a plan for achieving a competitive North South funding target of €175m between 2014 and 2020.
Speaking at the event, which was attended by more than 140 business and academic representatives, Aidan Gough, Director of Strategy & Policy for InterTradeIreland said, “Our Strategic Action Plan for Horizon 2020 reflects the high priority both jurisdictions place on North South participation in the Programme and I am delighted that the latest figures are so positive.
“Cross-border cooperation in programmes like Horizon 2020 offers unique advantages for businesses and researchers alike and InterTradeIreland will continue to play an active and integral role to encourage the creation of North South partnerships and to provide support through our wide range of Horizon 2020 initiatives.”
InterTradeIreland’s analysis shows that the top performing areas for North South collaboration are the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions followed by ICT, health and agri-food. Projects in these areas are designed to demonstrate a positive impact on EU societies and citizens and range from devising solutions to prevent online attacks from hackers, to stem cell therapy to treat diabetic kidney disease.
Industry participation in Horizon 2020 is a key objective for the European Commission which has set a target participation rate of 20%. Currently over 60% of North South collaboration projects involve Ireland or Northern Ireland companies which are taking full advantage of the opportunity to work together and innovate on a cross border basis. Examples of this include the €4m REMEDIATE project which sees Carlow based SME T. E. Labs collaborating with Queen’s University, Belfast while Northern Ireland’s Seagate Technology is partnering with University College Cork and X-CELEPRINT in Dublin on the €5.25m TOP HIT project.
The Collaborate to Innovate Conference is one of InterTradeIreland’s many events and activities to support North South participation in Horizon 2020. Aimed at those preparing for Horizon2020, the conference featured the renowned European expert, Seán McCarthy of Hyperion Ltd, who shared his experience, guidance and advice in pulling together successful Horizon 2020 proposals.
For further information about the range of Horizon 2020 supports on offer from InterTradeIreland visit http://www.intertradeireland.com/horizon2020