Speaking to an EU funding event in Dungannon organised by her Party Colleague, Michelle Gildernew MP, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson encouraged SME’s to avail of the €80billion EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation fund.
Martina Anderson said:
"Small and medium sized Irish companies (SME’s), North and South are not taking full advantage of the potential of the €80billion the new EU programme Horizon 2020, which supports research, innovation and science sectors offers.
"I would encourage SMEs, in order to increase their appeal and competitiveness to investigate possible opportunities provided by this fund. Technology research, innovation and science are the cutting edge of future economic development and with the number of existing and start-up businesses in the software, digital and intelligent technology sectors across Ireland this fund offers untold opportunities.
"Horizon 2020 is the European Commission's new framework programme for research, innovation and science worth €80 billion available over the next seven years. The first opportunity for proposals under the Horizon 2020 programme covering the next two years was launched on December 11th 2013 with €15 billion available.
"It provides strong financial support for activities in a range of different policy areas of importance to both the European and domestic economy. This includes funding opportunities for the technology; health; transport, energy, agriculture; food; environmental; industrial and space sectors."I urge SMEs currently working in research, innovation and science to look closely at the recent Horizon 2020 announcement where they may be able to identify new opportunities for business growth. One of the key benefits of Horizon 2020 participation is the formation of high-level links with research bodies and companies across Ireland, Europe and worldwide. Investment in research, innovation and science is the key to creating high quality well-paid jobs within our domestic economy."