Teagasc this afternoon  welcomed the conclusion of negotiations on Horizon 2020, which took place during the Irish Presidency of the EU.

Horizon 2020 is a new, integrated funding system that will cover all research and innovation funding currently provided through the Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development, the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. These different types of funding will be brought together in a coherent and flexible manner.

Over the past five years, Teagasc has greatly increased the level of research and innovation funding that it secures from the European Framework Programme. Over a two-year period from 2009 – 2011, Teagasc more than tripled the funding secured from Framework Programme 7, the predecessor to Horizon 2020.

Director of Research, Dr Frank O’Mara congratulated the Government on securing this agreement and said he was particularly pleased with the focus on innovation in Horizon 2020.

Speaking this afternoon he said: “Teagasc are looking forward to engaging with our European collaborators over the next seven years to tackle research questions which can only be dealt with at a European level. In particular, the societal challenge of ‘Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research, and the bio-economy’, which has been identified in Horizon 2020, is one which is not possible to address on a national basis, it requires the bringing together of expertise and resources from all across Europe.”

Dr O’Mara also emphasised the importance of national research funding schemes: “Winning research funding at a European level is only made possible because of the investment by Irish funders such as the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. This investment allows us to build capacity and expertise that we can then use to leverage non-exchequer European funding,” he added.

The Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation, with an indicative budget of €70bn, will succeed Framework Programme 7 in January 2014, if it receives final approval of the EU Council and Parliament.

Open access publication of results from research funded under Horizon 2020 will be mandatory that will allow the results of publically-funded research and innovation to be maximised.

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