A special Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) Directory “Irish participation in EU FP7 funded competitive marine research projects during the period 2007-2008” prepared by the Marine Institute and describing 22 collaborative marine research projects with Irish participation, was launched at the recent FP7 Ireland Conference on the 30th June.
The event, which was organised by the Irish FP7 Support Office of Enterprise Ireland in the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin, attracted over 177 participants as well as 645 people on its web cast.
In opening the FP7 Ireland Conference, Minister Conor Lenihan, T.D. noted that in the first two years of the €50 billion FP7 Programme (2007-2013), researchers from Irish companies and higher education institutions won funding totalling €107million for collaborative research projects in areas like ICT, health, nano-technology and energy research. The 22 marine science projects described in the Directory are worth over €163 million in total, of which €8.8 million goes to Irish researchers by way of grant-aid.
“This achievement of a drawdown of €8.8 million to Irish researchers over the two-year period from 2007 to 2008 - over double the yearly drawdown of €10.6 million over the five-year period of the Sixth Framework programme from 2002 to 2006 - demonstrates that the Irish marine research community is of international standard and capable of competing with the best in Europe,” said Geoffrey O’Sullivan, the Marine Institute’s International Co-Operation Manager.
The EU FP7 contributes to the implementation of research priorities identified in the national Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (SSTI: 2006- 2013) and its marine component, the Sea Change Strategy (2007-2013). The Irish drawdown of EU grant-aid for marine research represents an impressive 8% of the Irish total drawdown over the period 2007-2008.
Some FP7 Facts and Figures:
- Irish researchers are involved in 22 collaborative marine research projects worth over €163 million in project costs and are in direct receipt of €8.8 million of grant-aid
- Irish researchers are performing particularly well in four of the FP7 Specific Themes: Environment (7 projects); Transport (4 projects); Food (3 projects); Energy (2 projects)
- Two public research institutes (Marine Institute, Central Fisheries Board), four third level institutes (University College Cork, National University of Ireland-Galway, University of Limerick Dundalk Institute of Technology), two representative bodies (Irish Exporters Association, Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport) and eleven Irish SMEs are currently participating in FP7 marine projects and co-operating with over 290 foreign research centres and SMEs
- Three projects (CORES, CORALFISH and MABFUEL), all led by Ireland, are each in receipt of grant-aid of €1 million or over. One of these projects, MABFUEL (Marine Algae as Biomass for Biofuel), is led by an SME, the Daithi O’Murchu Marine Research Station Ltd., illustrating that a small innovative SME can compete successfully at the European level
- Many of the current successes are based on the very significant investments in Irish marine research infrastructures and project-based capacity building supported under the Marine Research, Technology, Development and Innovation Measure of the NDP (2000-2006) and the current Marine Research Sub-Programme of the NDP (2007-2013)
- It is anticipated that many of the Irish success in the future FP7 years (2009-2013) will emerge from new expertise and capacities such as those being supported under the new national grant-aid schemes designed to establish critical mass in priority strategic areas such as the Beaufort (Marine Research), Griffith (Geological Research) and Parson (Energy Research) Award Schemes.
- The Irish drawdown of EU grant-aid for marine research represents an impressive 8% of the Irish total drawdown over the period 2007-2008
In 2009, a further 8 marine projects with Irish participation (grant-aid €2.7 million) have been approved for funding. Calls for proposals for FP7 projects are listed at: http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/dc/index.cfm?fuseaction=UserSite.FP7CallsPage&rs
The next significant call for marine related projects (Themes 2 and 6, including the Oceans of Tomorrow call) will be launched on 30th July 2009. Copies of the FP7 Directory can be downloaded from:https://www.marine.ie/home/publicationsdata/publications/Special+Reports.htm