€8.1 Billion fund should lead to greater all Ireland co-operation in research and development
Sinn Féin today welcomed the announcement by Máire Geoghegan Quinn of the final round of calls for proposals under the €8.1 Billion EU 7th Framework Programme.
Peadar Tóibín TD, Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the Dáil said;
“Investment in Research and Development is a key driver of economic growth. Across the EU the target was set for 3% of GDP to go into Research and Development. The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Dublin has recently confirmed that the figure for the state is only 1.7% and acknowledges that at current levels of investment it will miss the EU Target. This will lead to us falling further behind other economies.
“Given the reduced funding for business support by Labour and Fine Gael it is a priority to maximise the support from this EU programme. While proposals in this state have successively drawn down funds there is room for greater improvement through fully developing an all Ireland approach to funding proposals.”
Phil Flanagan MLA spokesperson for Enterprise at the Assembly said;
“In the last round of funding from the 7th Framework proposals from the North drew down the EU average of funding and a low level of investment by SME’s in research and development. There is a pressing need to up our game if we are the meet the targets of £300 million as laid out in the Programme for Government.
“We have partner universities and SME’s in the South that are essential for bids to the 7th Framework. We need a comprehensive and co-ordinated all Ireland approach to promote Research and Development if we are to realise our potential to draw down funds and to promote economic development across the island for the benefit of all our people.”