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Anderson to host Information Seminar on new SME EU funding.

21 January, 2013 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson will host an Information Seminar for SME’s in Derry this Friday 25th January on the benefits available to Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s) through the new Horizon 2020 assistance programme.

Martina Anderson said:

“I will be bringing together a wide ranging panel of expertise to cover the whole spectrum of opportunities available through the Horizon 2020 EU funding programme.

“I had a very useful exchange-of-views with Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn last week to discuss the Horizon 2020 programme which is the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and which will operate from 2014 until 2020. One of the panellists for Friday’s Seminar is, David Harmon, Advisor to Ms Geoghegan-Quinn. He will be joined on the platform by Colette Fitzgerald, Head of EU Commission Office in the North, Simon Grattan, Project Manager of Horizon 2020 in the North, Caitriona Ward, Manager of Enterprise Ireland’s Irish Liaison Office in Brussels, Aidan Gough, Strategy and Policy Director at InterTradeIreland, Laura Leonard, Manager of Belfast City Council’s EU Unit and Richard Osterhus, Manager of Derry City Council’s EU Unit.

“Horizon 2020 with an anticipated €80 billion budget is the EU’s new programme for research and innovation aimed at creating new growth and jobs across Europe.

“I believe that there is great potential on an all-Ireland basis for SME’s to develop Research and Development activities. Sinn Féin has been arguing for a more joined up approach in this area by Dublin and Belfast. I believe that the make-up of the panel will allow participants to explore all opportunities from an all-Ireland perspective.

“We have partner universities and SME organisations in the South and it is essential that we collaborate with them to ensure maximum benefits across the island from Horizon 2020. We need a comprehensive and co-ordinated all -Ireland approach to promote R&D if we are to realise our potential to draw down funds and promote economic development across the island.

“Sinn Féin has long highlighted the need to cut red tape for SME’s and to simplify rules and procedures. Horizon 2020 does just that, providing major simplification through a single set of rules and combining all research and innovation funding currently provided through present Framework Programmes for R&D

“Given the reduced funding for business support by both Coalition governments in London and Dublin it is essential that we maximise the support from this EU programme.  There are tremendous opportunities for improvement through fully developing an all-Ireland approach to these funding proposals. The information Seminar in Derry on January 25th will begin sharp at 12 noon in the Sinn Féin Constituency Centre, Eastway Road, Derry City ”

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