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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 11 August, 2020

EU fund will help 'meet grand societal challenges of our time' - Minister

The Horizon 2020 fund will fund research and innovation across Europe for the next seven years.

AN EU-WIDE MULTI-BILLION euro fund for research and innovation will help meet “the grand societal challenges of our time” the Minister who helped negotiate it has claimed.

Seán Sherlock, the Minister of State for Research and Innovation, was speaking to about the Horizon 2020 fund, which was largely agreed during the course of Ireland’s EU presidency earlier this year, with the Cork East TD chairing the negotiations.

The new programme for the next seven years will fund research and innovation in businesses across Europe with some €79 billion in total available. A target has also been set that up to 20 per cent of the funding will go to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Ireland aims to draw down around €1.25 billion from the fund, double what it has taken under the old programme, known as the ‘Seventh Framework Programme’.

Sherlock explained how it might work: “If you can imagine a population that’s increasing, you’re going to be looking at things like functional foods.

“How are we going to feed our population, [are] there new ways of embracing new scientific endeavours in terms of meeting that challenge?”

Irish universities, businesses and researchers will be able to find out more about the fund at an event being held in the Convention Centre in Dublin next Tuesday.

Watch Sherlock explain how the fund might benefit Ireland in the video above

Read: Jobs boost expected thanks to €70bn Horizon 2020 programme

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Hugh O'Connell

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