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Aidan Gough, Director of Strategy & Policy for InterTradeIreland

Horizon 2020 Funding Secured by North South Projects Surpasses €19 million

The value of North South R&D activity secured in the Horizon 2020 programme to date is €19.36 million, which is a 62% increase compared to the same period in the Framework Programme 7 (FP7).

These encouraging figures were revealed at the recent InterTradeIreland ‘Collaborate to Innovate Conference’ which focused on ‘Delivering Competitive Proposals’.

Long term plan
To address the ambitious national targets set out by the respective governments on both sides of the border, InterTradeIreland has developed a Strategic Action Plan for Horizon 2020, which is supported by the all-island steering group for Horizon 2020 and includes representatives from government departments and support networks in both jurisdictions. This outlines a plan to achieve a competitive North South funding target of €175 million between 2014 and 2020, which opens up great opportunities for organisations on both sides of the border.

Belfast event highlights supports
More than 140 business and academic representatives attended the fifth annual all island InterTradeIreland ‘Collaborate to Innovate’ conference in Belfast and the Strategic Action Plan for Horizon 2020 was a key element of the event’s focus.

Both jurisdictions have placed a high priority on North South participation in Horizon 2020 and the InterTradeIreland’s conference highlighted the range of supports available for businesses and researchers alike who are considering creating North South partnerships to apply for Horizon 2020 funding.

Successful projects

InterTradeIreland has discovered the top performing areas for North South co-operation are in the area of ‘Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions’ followed by ICT, health and agri-food. These projects range greatly but are fundamentally designed to demonstrate a positive impact on EU societies and citizens. They include the creation of solutions to prevent online attacks from hackers and stem cell therapy to treat diabetic kidney disease.

Co-operation works
With a North South industry participation rate at 60%, which is three times the target participation rate as set by the European Commission, local companies are taking full advantage of the opportunity to work together and innovate on a cross-border basis. For example, the €4 million REMEDIATE project involves Carlow-based SME T.E. working with Queens University, Belfast while Northern Ireland’s Seagate Technology is partnering with University College, Cork and Dublin’s X-CELEPRINT on the €5.25 million TOP HIT project.

Importance of Horizon 2020
Horizon 2020 is the European Union’s largest ever investment in research and innovation with a budget of €79 billion available between 2014 and 2020. It is open to everyone and funds a wide range of activities from frontier research through to close-to-market innovation activities with around 20% of the total budget specifically allocated to opportunities for SMEs.

Encouragement from Horizon 2020 alumni
Attendees at the recent InterTradeIreland conference were also encouraged by keynote speaker, renowned European expert Sean Mc Carthy of Hyperion Ltd, who related his experience, guidance and advice in pulling together successful Horizon 2020 proposals.

More Information
More information about the choice of Horizon 2020 supports on offer from InterTrade Ireland can be accessed at

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