Urging maximum participation in the consultation process launched by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI) around the draft European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme for the period 2014-2020 Martina Anderson MEP said:
"The consultation process is an opportunity for individuals, organisations, SME’s, University R&D departments and others who wish to avail of EU funding to have their say on what activities these programmes should target. The results of the consultation will influence the priorities for the programmes. It is imperative therefore, that interested bodies should participate to insure their interests are represented. This is how the shaping of such programmes work.
“Although the total funding to support the Programme has still to be agreed, it is likely to be in the region of £400million. It is anticipated that this will include £240million from the ERDF and a further £160million from a variety of matching sources.
“Projects proposed for inclusion in the Programme will help develop the North's economy by focusing on areas including research, technical development and innovation; actions to enhance the competitiveness of SMEs; and activities that support the move towards a low-carbon economy.
“The DETI 16 week consultation period for the ERDF Programme will run until the 21 October 2013
"In the north we have a poor record of drawing down potential EU funds. We compare poorly not only to other Irish constituencies in the south but also many across the EU. It is important that we start to engage meaningfully in EU funding processes, such as this consultation, in order to maximise the potential of such funds.
“The consultation on the ERDF Programme forms part of a wider consultation exercise on three draft EU Programmes for 2014-2020 which also includes proposals for the European Social Fund (ESF) Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme, and the European Agriculture Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) Rural Development Fund.”
The consultation paper and accompanying documentation are available to download from the DETI website http://www.detini.gov.uk