News Feature: Irish Firms Better Placed to Win EU Grants, Says Commissioner
SMEs in Ireland have an improved chance of being granted funding from a new EU-wide initiative, according to the EU’s Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.
MÃ¡ire Geoghegan-Quinn (pictured) believes that Irish firms are best placed to win grants from the EU’s Horizon 2020 scheme due to better opportunities, simplified applications and less red-tape for SMEs.
She said that Ireland in particular has ‘great scientists and researchers’ but insisted that the Irish Government must back research-based schemes to‘fully support the innovation process.’
‘This will ensure that we can develop the goods and services of the future, improve the quality of life for us all and build a better society. This, in turn, will help to both maintain and create high quality jobs within the Irish economy,’ said the Commissioner.
Besides research and innovation grants, businesses will also be able to bid for a range of debt and equity options. The â‚¬70bn research fund is the biggest ever across the Eurozone. The proportion of allocated funds for SMEs has also been increased, with new rules to encourage greater participation.
Under a similar former scheme, Irish SMEs benefited from around â‚¬116m of funding for research and innovation projects. The Commissioner added that Irish SMEs must maximise their efforts to remain competitive.