IRISH MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE OFFICE: Ireland has secured over €57 million in funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation projects which support the development of research talent across all sectors of the economy. Around 400 high-value research jobs and studentships will be created in these projects. They are funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) This initiative ensures talent development and focuses on research mobility, between countries and sectors, backed up by professional development and training.
The €57 million won since the start of 2014 makes MSCA the top-performing area for Ireland in Horizon 2020.
A large portion of the funding is going to projects with strong interactions between academia and industry across the indigenous and MNC sectors. The funding is also supporting links between academia and the community and voluntary sector.
Dr. Jennifer Brennan, Ireland’s National Contact Point for the MSCA, said “I am very pleased with the outcomes so far. It’s clear that the strong links that academic researchers are developing with industry and civil society are an essential part of this success. I am particularly pleased to see newcomers such as Concern Worldwide and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre partnering with academia to work on solutions to societal problems. My colleagues and I are looking forward to continuing to support the wider research community in Ireland to continue to improve on our performance in the programme”.
The Director of the Irish Research Council, Dr. Eucharia Meehan, speaking about the importance of the outcome said “Ireland’s new strategy for research and development, science and technology – ‘Innovation 2020’ – highlights the importance of research talent development to the economy and to the grand societal challenges that we face now and in the future. The MSCA plays a key role in developing that talent, supporting researchers in all areas from Arts to Zoology to work across and break down the boundaries between academic, industry and civil society. The Council is pleased to jointly operate the Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office which has assisted researchers to achieve this successful outcome for Ireland.”
The MSCA will celebrate its 20th birthday later this year, and has consistently been a high-performing area of EU funding for Ireland. The funding has benefitted researchers in all disciplines, including the arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law.
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Note to the Editor:
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions are a European Union Funding Programme which supports researchers at all stages of their careers, across all research disciplines from live-saving healthcare to “blue sky” research and in all employment sectors. It is named after the famous Polish-born Nobel Prize winning researcher. The opportunities in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions range from individual fellowships for talented researchers to large-scale pan-European research training networks.
Sample funded projects:
- Alcatel Lucent Ireland Limited is participating in a pan-European consortium led by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and also involving the University of Limerick. The funding will support six new research staff members (with most working towards a PhD during the project) to work full-time at Alcatel contributing to a project to develop new technologies for enhanced and efficient heat recovery in automotive, aeronautics and energy generation.
- Ballyhoura Development Ltd., a community-led local development company based in Limerick has been funded in an MSCA training network project in the area of social entrepreneurship. University College Cork is also a partner in the consortium, and both will receive funding to support a PhD student working in their organisation for 3 years.
- E. Laboratories Ltd., a chemicals and environmental analysis company based in Carlow have been funded twice in the Horizon 2020 MSCA. Both projects involve collaboration with local organisations: Dublin City University in a project on contaminated land site remediation and Teagasc in a project about soil and groundwater contamination.
- Envirotech Innovative Products Ltd., a spin-in to NovaUCD, has received funding for a project in the agrifood area. The consortium is led by University College Dublin and includes partners from Trinity College Dublin, Teagasc and organisations from across Europe.
The Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office is jointly operated by the Irish Universities Association and the Irish Research Council, with support from Science Foundation Ireland. The office provides advice and support on preparing applications for Marie Skłodowska-Curie funding and the management of Marie Skłodowska-Curie awards.