On Monday, 25th June, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, wrote in the Irish Times.  A summary of the key points she made are as follows:

  • EU does not have enough entrepreneurs turning scientific breakthroughs into new products and services – we have an innovation gap and we must close it
  • The FP7 is the largest publicly funded research programme in the world
    • The last FP7 call for proposals worth €8 billion takes place in July
    • Irish participants have drawn down €384 million under FP7 to date
    • Third-level colleges are the largest beneficiaries of this EU research funding
    • Private sector companies in Ireland have secured €96 million
    • The criteria for drawing down funding under FP7 is excellence in research
  • Supporting research activity is only one side of the coin – putting in the necessary regulatory and legal environment in Europe to enable innovative goods and services to be developed is the other side of this coin
  • Europe has great scientists, and 31 per cent of all patents in the world comes from the EU, but what we do not have is follow-through
  • Jobs are being created elsewhere on the back of EU knowledge e.g. Skype & MP3 music format
  • The European Commission will be launching a pilot project in support of SBIR type programmes as part of July’s FP7 call for proposals
  • We need the best researchers and scientists to work in Ireland and in Europe so that we can develop the innovative products and services of the future
  • €80 billion to be spent on the research, innovation and science sectors between 2014-2020 – central component of Europe 2020 programme



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