Sinn Féin’s Martina Anderson MEP has called on the University of Ulster (UU) and Magee Campus to ensure that they avail of the Research and Development (R&D) opportunities presented by the EU Horizon 2020 budget allocations.
Welcoming the approval of the compromise text on Horizon 2020 by the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER I) opening the way for the implementation of the EU’s next multi-annual research programme over the next seven years Martina Anderson said:
“With a total budget of € 70.2 billion, this new research package demonstrates the determination of EU leaders to keep investing in science and technology, despite the budgetary constraints facing many EU member states. Against the backdrop of an overall decrease in the EU’s Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2014-2020, the research budget for Horizon 2020 has actually increased by 40% compared to the Seventh Framework Programme which expires this year.
“The agreement paves the way for the formal adoption of the “Horizon 2020” legislative package by the European Parliament and the Council through a vote in the coming months.
“Horizon 2020 will target three priority areas, creating world-class scientific excellence, making research and innovation more competitive and fostering industrial leadership to speed up the development of technologies that will support businesses and innovation, including SMEs. It is designed to develop priorities identified in the Europe 2020 strategy by supporting activities covering the entire chain from research to market. It is imperative therefore that UU Campuses – particularly Magee in conjunction with the North West Health Innovation Corridor and C-tric avail of the opportunities presented by this very ambitious funding programme.
“Horizon 2020 will also provide a range of support fo research and innovation activities of SMEs along the different stages of the innovation cycle. The creation of a dedicated SME instrument will help to increase the participation of SMEs under Horizon 2020 funded projects.”