Tag Archive | "Horizon 2020"

SEAI Doubles Sustainable Energy Research Fund to €2 Million in 2017

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) announced on Thursday a doubling of its Energy Research, Development and Demonstration fund for next year to €2 million. The fund is open to Irish researchers in industry and academia to support sustainable energy research. Priority areas include energy efficiency, citizen engagement and energy storage with the programme open to a wide range of proposal types – including technology RD&D, field research, and feasibility studies.

SEAI Head of Low Carbon Technologies Dr Eimear Cotter said: “This comes on foot of a heavily oversubscribed programme in 2016 with high quality applications across a broad range of sustainable energy research and development. This is a really strong indicator of the vibrancy of Ireland’s energy research environment across academia and industry.

“Irish researchers have already drawn down €27m in funding in energy-related research under Horizon 2020, for which SEAI is the National Delegate.  We expect this success to continue for the duration of the project.”

The 2016 research programme is currently drawing to a close and is providing valuable outputs, enhancing the evidence-base in areas such as community energy project models; solar energy; land-use planning and energy infrastructure; bioenergy and geospatial energy datasets.

Since 2002 SEAI has provided €26 million funding through its Energy RD&D programme.  Recent supported projects include:

NovoGrid which have developed an intelligent control system that enables PV solar generators to deliver more energy by minimising thermal impacts on the electrical distribution network.

NVP Energy, which is developing an innovative wastewater treatment technology. Funding was provided to validate NVP Energy’s low temperature Anaerobic Digestion technology at full scale to ensure the technology meets expected treatment levels, as seen in pilot studies.

South Dublin County Council were funded to develop an ‘Energy Masterplan’ for Clonburris in Dublin, offering the potential to support cost-competitive low carbon heat and electricity alternatives that can be mirrored by other Councils around Ireland.

Terrag GeoServ Ltd are developing a hybrid ground source and solar thermal system for the Irish market. Funding was provided to develop the system which will introduce a cost competitive alternative to the Irish ground source heat pump market, with greater long term performance and improved operating costs.

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Medicine Research Network Launched at UCC

The UCC School of Pharmacy-led PEARRL (Pharmaceutical Education and Research with Regulatory Links) Network officially launched this week. The network, funded by Horizon 2020 and Marie Sklodowska-Curie innovation programme, aims to achieve earlier patient access to new medicines, has been launched.

The PEARRL project brings together 18 leading European institutions, including Pharma industry, academia and regulatory agency partners to deliver a unique research and training programme.

Fifteen early stage researchers will be recruited in PEARRL, to focus on research into developing drug formulation strategies to enable accelerated approval and reduced cost of development, in turn facilitating earlier patient access to breakthrough therapies.

Project Coordinator of PEARRL Dr Brendan Griffin, from the School of Pharmacy, UCC, said: “Within PEARRL, our research will develop novel drug delivery technology, new screening methods and innovative models to forecast drug levels in humans, which will collectively streamline the development of new oral medicines. In addition, PEARRL will provide a unique training network for developing the next generation of leading pharmaceutical and regulatory scientists.”

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Horizon 2020 – €6.32 m funding for agri-researchers

The agri-researchers from academia and companies in Ireland have been awarded a total of  €6.32 million in the most recent round of EU funding from the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme related to agriculture, food, marine and inland waters, the rural economy and the bioeconomy. This follows the recent announcement by the Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan T.D. about Ireland’s overall success in winning funding from the EU for recently awarded research and innovation projects.

Commenting on the results, Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine Michael Creed T.D. said that, “I commend all of the Irish researchers and companies for their participation in this highly competitive EU funding programme and in particular I congratulate those participants that have been successful.  Ireland is continuing to outperform targets set in this part of Horizon 2020 which is related to Agriculture, Forestry, the Marine and Inland  Waters, the Rural Economy and the Bioeconomy.  Overall, we are competing successfully with the best researchers and most innovative companies in the EU for funding”.

The promotion and support structure for Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 2 is led by the Department’s Research and Codex Division.  Through national core grant and competitively awarded funding,  Ireland has built up a talented and experienced agri-food and forestry research and innovation community and the Department, working together with Enterprise Ireland and others, assists them in identifying Horizon 2020 opportunities and in applying for EU funding.  Assistance is also specifically targeted at newcomers with a view to preparing a cohort of new researchers and companies for the upcoming calls in 2017 and beyond.


“I particularly welcome the fact that Teagasc, the Marine Institute, our Higher Education Institutes and SMEs have been successful in Horizon 2020 thereby helping to innovate in areas such as Blue Growth, Rural Renaissance and the Bioeconomy all of which are vital for creating high-quality and sustainable jobs, growth and investment particularly in the rural and coastal areas” concluded Minister Creed.

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€27 million in funding secured for Irish energy research projects under Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s largest research and innovation programme with an energy research budget of €6 billion for the period 2014 to 2020. Due to this, they supported the Irish research institutions and industry with a funding of more than €27million for their energy-related research.

Additionally the programme’s National Delegate, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has been supporting many of these organisations in their Horizon 2020 bids, as well as providing further research funding.

 SEAI, with Enterprise Ireland, helps identify opportunities for Irish research institutions and industry in the programme. The Irish energy research community is reaping the rewards from active participation in the programme and, in doing so, is addressing some of the main challenges facing the energy system.

Commenting on Irish participation in Horizon 2020 energy programmes, Dr Eimear Cotter, Head of Low Carbon Technologies, SEAI said: “It’s fantastic to see such support for Irish projects in the area of energy research and renewable energy technologies. SEAI is helping to build national energy research capacity through its Research, Development and Demonstration Programme from which many researchers proceed to European funding. It is particularly pleasing to see Irish SMEs perform well with companies such as NVP Energy and Exergyn successful in drawing down both national and EU funds to support the commercialisation of their products”.

Ireland has also been successful in securing funding in large-scale energy-related projects. RealValue, a consortium led by Glen Dimplex, won €12m for its energy storage project which will see physical demonstrations of its technology in Ireland, Germany and Latvia. SEAI, with Enterprise Ireland, will work with Irish participants to continue to identify large-scale funding opportunities for Ireland in the energy sphere.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland was established as Ireland’s national energy authority under the Sustainable Energy Act 2002. SEAI’s mission is to play a leading role in transforming Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices. To fulfil this mission SEAI aims to provide well-timed and informed advice to Government, and deliver a range of programmes efficiently and effectively, while engaging and motivating a wide range of stakeholders and showing continuing flexibility and innovation in all activities. SEAI’s actions will help advance Ireland to the vanguard of the global green technology movement, so that Ireland is recognised as a pioneer in the move to decarbonised energy systems

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Ireland wins €275m from EU for Research projects under Horizon 2020

Irish researchers and companies have won a total of €274.7 million in funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme for research projects, which was announced by the Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation John Halligan T.D.

The Higher Education system got a total of €172.5 million and companies secured  €79.2 million, including €54.3 million for SMEs.

Commenting on the results, Minister Halligan said that, “I congratulate all of the successful researchers and companies on their terrific achievement. Ireland is continuing to perform very well in Horizon 2020 and we are competing successfully with the best researchers and most innovative companies in the EU for funding”.
“I particular welcome the fact that SMEs have been so successful in Horizon 2020, winning €54 million in funding. Horizon 2020 is helping these companies to innovate, which is vital for creating high-quality and sustainable jobs. It is also clear that the research being carried out in Ireland is in the top-tier of EU research and this is a key factor in the companies’ success in Horizon 2020”.

Dr Imelda Lambkin, the National Director for Horizon 2020 said that “The national support structure for Horizon 2020, led by Enterprise Ireland, continues to assist researchers in identifying opportunities and in applying for funding. We are currently looking specifically for newcomers with a view to preparing a cohort of 100 new researchers and companies for the upcoming calls”.

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government said that “Science Foundation Ireland welcomes the news of Irish companies’ recent success in Horizon 2020. There is a misconception that Horizon 2020 is primarily for academia; there is actually more funding in it for industry. Science Foundation Ireland has a number of programmes in place to support bids for funding and continues to encourage Irish company and academic participation. I am delighted with the success we have seen to date and hope to significantly build upon these achievements from both academia and industry.”


Horizon 2020 is the European Union’s new research programme, which will succeed FP7 in 2014. Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness.


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European Commission launches three Horizon Prizes for energy innovation

The European Commission launched three Horizon Prizes to encourage innovation and find solutions to challenges in the area of energy.

Worth a total of €3.25 million and funded under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, the prizes will reward innovative approaches to integrating solar energy into historical buildings, using renewable energy in hospitals, and developing products that help cut emissions by reusing carbon dioxide (CO2).

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Protecting our rich cultural heritage and providing state-of-the-art hospitals need not be at odds with our goal for a sustainable, affordable and low-carbon energy future.  These prizes will help mobilise the talent needed to find new ways to deploy existing technologies to achieve these goals, and the innovative reuse of CO2 will help to tackle climate change, one of the major societal challenges worldwide.”

The €750.000 Horizon Prize Photovoltaics meets history addresses the technical constraints in integrating photovoltaic energy sources in historical urban districts. The prize will be awarded to the most suitable architectural and aesthetical design for a photovoltaic energy system which at the same time presents an optimal technical solution.The €1 million Horizon Prize Low carbon hospital will contribute to finding solutions for using 100% renewable energy sources for heat and power generation in hospital buildings. The award will go to an innovative solution integrating several technologies into one energy system, which can guarantee uninterrupted energy supply.

The €1.5 million Horizon Prize CO2 reuse will be awarded to the developer of an innovative product that reuses carbon dioxide (CO2), making a genuine contribution to achieving net emissions reductions.

Contestants can apply until 26 September 2018 for the Photovoltaics meets history contest and until 3 April 2019 for the two others. Applicants have total freedom in the approach they take to deliver the breakthrough solution. The rules of the contests are available on the Horizon Prizes website.


Horizon Prizes are challenge prizes (also known as ‘inducement’ prizes) which offer a cash reward to whoever can most effectively meet a defined challenge. They act as an incentive for innovation by prescribing the goal, but not how the goal should be achieved. The European Commission is introducing a set of challenge prizes under Horizon 2020, the EU’s €77 billion research and innovation programme running from 2014 to 2020.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

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Tyndall and TSSG plan €82m fund for 10 internet start-ups

Waterford Institute of Technology’s TSSG and University College Cork’s Tyndall Institute have signed a memorandum of understanding to target €82m in EU funding to support 10 internet of things start-ups.

The research bodies aim to draw down the €82m from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

“Our combined staff of 580 hardware and 120 software engineers, support staff and scientists, together with Tyndall and TSSG’s world-class infrastructure make this partnership uniquely qualified to deliver,” said Dr Kieran Drain, CEO of the Tyndall National Institute.

“At Tyndall we passionately believe that Irish technology companies have the potential to lead on the internet of things (IoT) and that it is our role to facilitate and accelerate their growth from product conception through to commercial reality. This MoU will accelerate the development of new technologies, generating new growth opportunities for indigenous industry, while also encouraging further foreign direct investment.”

The rapidly expanding internet of things market – where physical objects interact with the internet – was valued at US$613m (€473m) last year alone and will be worth an estimated US$7.1trn (€5.5trn) between now and 2020.

Tyndall National Institute CEO Dr Kieran Drain, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English TD and the director of Waterford IT’s TSSG, Willie Donnelly

Prof Willie Donnelly, founder, director and chair, TSSG, said a key focus of the joint plan is to create technologies that will extend beyond the internet of things and into an everyday future for the citizens of tomorrow’s societies.

“The partnership will place Ireland at the centre of the IoT conversation, positioning Ireland as a location of preference for the IOT industry. TSSG are delighted to be partnering with Tyndall and we look forward to what will be a very exciting future with them.”

Tyndall and TSSG are currently collaborating on several projects across the energy, agriculture, environment and health sectors to deliver a tangible connection for people between two worlds, the physical and connected.

The advent of wearable technologies, smart appliances and services, along with dynamic sensors, all indicate the need for Ireland to capitalise on its reputation as a digital hub and lead on IoT technologies.

This MoU encapsulates that goal, said Damien English, TD, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation.

“This strategic partnership adds great strength to the position of Tyndall and TSSG as leaders in the development of new technologies and companies in the ICT sector,” English said.

“It is the responsibility of the Government to ensure that Irish innovation continues to be at the forefront of technological development and that through the facilitation of such projects and collaborations, commercialisation opportunities are maximised and job creation is accelerated.”

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