Irish Universities Association & Irish Research Council ­partner to deliver EU funding success for Ireland

Irish researchers have just won €10 million in EU research funding according to recent results issued from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA). The funding will support the development of research talent across all sectors of the economy, creating 100 high-value research jobs in companies, civil society organisations, public bodies and higher education institutions.

The successful applicants were supported by the Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office, operated in partnership by the Irish Universities Association and the Irish Research Council. The two organisations have recently renewed this successful partnership. Since 2012, the partnership has secured €100 million of European funding for Irish research. MSCA is an initiative which ensures talent development and focuses on research mobility between countries and sectors, backed up by professional development and training. It is the top-performing area for Ireland in the current EU Framework Programme, known as Horizon 2020.

The Director of the Irish Research Council, Dr. Eucharia Meehan, speaking about the importance of the partnership said “Ireland’s new strategy for research and development, science and technology – ‘Innovation 2020’ – highlights the importance of research talent development to the economy and to the grand societal challenges that we face now and in the future. The IRC and MSCA are natural bedfellows, as they both play a key role in developing research talent, supporting researchers in all areas from Arts to Zoology to work across and break down the boundaries between academia, industry and civil society. The Council is pleased to continue the joint operation of the Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office and looks forward to continuing to assist researchers to achieve a successful outcome for Ireland in the programme.”

Ned Costello, Chief Executive of the Irish Universities Association, said “The support provided by the Irish Research Council is essential to the operation and successful performance of the Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office. It has facilitated the development and roll-out a system of supports to maximise the success of research-active organisations in the MSCA leading to the programme becoming number-one for Ireland in Horizon 2020. I am particularly pleased to see the strong links between the universities, industry and civil society translating into successful funding applications. The IUA looks forward to continuing the partnership with the IRC to support the wider research community in Ireland in continuing to improve on Ireland’s exemplary performance in the MSCA”.

A large portion of the funding in these latest awards is going to projects with strong interactions between academia and industry across the indigenous and MNC sectors. The funding is also supporting links between academia and the community and voluntary sector. Around €1 million will go to support six dedicated research and innovation projects wholly within companies and civil society organisations.

The MSCA celebrated its 20th birthday last year, and are poised to announce the 10,000th researcher to be supported by the programme, which has consistently been a high-performing area of EU funding for Ireland. The funding has benefitted researchers in all disciplines, including the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law.

(24/02/2017)

See also coverage of the announcement on Silicon Republic