Official Irish launch of €80 billion EU Horizon 2020 Programme: 10th December 2013, Convention Centre, Dublin.

H2020 for Ireland LogoThe national launch of the European Union’s new €80 billion programme for research and innovation to create new growth and jobs in Europe (Horizon 2020) will take place in the Dublin Convention Centre, on 10th December. To register for this free event visit:

The €80 billion Horizon 2020 Programme (2014 to 2020) has an increased budget of nearly 30% in real terms compared with its predecessor, the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7). As a result of a new strategic programming approach, 12 Focus Areas have been identified for special attention. One of these, Blue Growth: Unlocking the potential of the seas and oceans, means that marine/maritime research and innovation will receive special attention in Horizon 2020. The areas of research that will be the focus of the first calls (2014/2015) are listed at:

The EU Blue Growth Strategy (2012) recognises that seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy with great potential for innovation, economic growth and job creation. The Blue Growth Strategy is the Integrated Maritime Policy's contribution to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Implementation of the Blue Growth Strategy, including sea-basin programmes such as the EU Atlantic Action Plan (2014-2020), can be supported by EU co-funding programmes such as Structural and Cohesion Funds (e.g. INTERREG, Smart Specialisation), Horizon 2020, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), etc.

The Irish marine research community, including SMEs, benefitted greatly from FP7 (2007-2013), participating in 127 competitive and collaborative marine research projects drawing down grant-aid of over €48 million, of which 42% was shared between 39 SMEs. This level of participation equates to circa 180 new marine science jobs in Ireland. This figure increases to 270 jobs with the inclusion of both FP7 and INTERREG-IV marine projects over the period 2007 – 2013.

Irish successes include MARINET (Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network for Energy Technologies) led by University College Cork and ASIMUTH (Applied simulations and integrated modelling for the understanding of Toxic and Harmful Algal blooms), led by the Bantry based Daithi O’Murchu Marine Research Station (DOMMRS) and which won the 2013 COPERNICUS Award for the best earth-monitoring service for European citizens. Other projects led by Ireland include: MarineTT (European Marine Research Knowledge Transfer and Up-take of Results) led by AquaTT (Dublin); BAMMBO (Sustainable production of biologically active molecules of marine origin) led by the Limerick Institute of Technology and CORALFISH (Assessment of interactions between corals, fish and fisheries in the deep waters of Europe and beyond) led by NUI-Galway. The Marine Institute participates in 28 projects including the strategic MyOCEAN (Development of upgraded GMES Marine Core Services) and EuroFLEETS (Towards an alliance of European Marine Research Vessel Fleets) projects.

Horizon 2020 funding is based on competitive calls that are open to everyone, including organisations and individuals from outside the EU. It is up to individual researchers, research organisations, companies or other organisations to get involved.

Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are encouraged to participate across the whole Horizon 2020 programme. They can engage in collaborative projects as part of a consortium, or seek support through a new dedicated SME instrument for highly innovative smaller companies. The integrated approach and simplification efforts should lead to a minimum of 20%, or about €8.65 billion, of the total combined budgets of the specific objective 'Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies' (LEITs) and 'Societal Challenges' going to SMEs. The SME instrument will be crucial in achieving this target. Over the course of Horizon 2020, at least €3 billion will be allocated to the SME instrument.

Full details on Horizon 2020 are included on the official Horizon 2020 website: