Sean Kelly says Cork should enjoy slice of EU 1.25bn fund

6th March 2014
By Tom O’Sullivan
tom@TheCork.ie

sean-kelly-mep

Former GAA President, Sean Kelly, MEP, today encouraged Banks, Small Businesses, Researchers and Universities to collaborate closely to make Ireland a world leader in Innovation.

Cork is ideally placed to nurture this global hub of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, with its strong academic foundations in UCC & CIT, along with excellent infrastructure, and modern innovation centres in the NSC & Rubicon centres.The city could also significantly benefit from a spin-off in investment by indigenous, fast growth, technology companies, as Ireland aims to tender for €1.25bn, of the EU’s Horizon 2020 aid programme for innovation and research – this amounts to €3m worth of funding every week, over the next 6 years, during the lifetime of Horizon 2020.

This week, Sweden was selected by the European Commisson, as the most innovative country in the EU, in terms of its investment in research (among other criteria) in the annual Innovation Union Scoreboard study, followed closely in this “leaders group” by Denmark, Finland and Germany. Ireland was ranked 9th out of 28 EU countries in the Tier 2 group of “Innovation followers”, along with France, UK, Belgium and Austria. However, Ireland still performed well above the EU average in certain areas, such as, global licence and patent revenues from abroad.

Sean Kelly, MEP Ireland South, commenting on the Innovation Union Scoreboard study, said:

“Ireland has the creative entrepreneurial talent, combined with solid academic knowledge through our research institutions, like UCC and CIT, to become a world leader in Scientific research. However we need to keep investing in technology innovation, as pointed out by Craig Barrett, former CEO of Intel at the ITLG forum in Limerick (January).

“Ireland must now take every opportunity to take the lead in scientific research, such as, immediately taking membership of CERN, the European nuclear research lab. I recently launched the Ireland for Cern campaign, supporting irish students and scientists, who are currently missing out on valuable CERN research contracts worth upto €500m a year, because of Ireland’s failure to subscribe to the CERN project to-date. Scientist’s estimate that CERN contracts deliver a return of at least €3 to the economy for every €1 spent on membership.”

“The spirit of entrepreneurship is very much alive in Cork, and next week i am delighted to see that CIT will host its annual Entrepreneurship and Innovation forum, when young entrepreneurs across Munster have an opportunity to demonstrate their creative talent in technology innovation and business leadership.”

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