Irish businesses are missing out on €55 billion research pot, says MEP

The Irish Government should set up a dedicated information centre in Brussels to advise Irish businesses, Irish universities and Irish local authorities as to how they can draw down a share of a €55 billion fund.

Research, technology and development grants from the European Union between now and 2013 are up for grabs but MEP Sean O Neachtain feels that Irish companies are missing out.

Now he is seeking the Taoiseach’s support for the setting up of a dedicated information centre in Brussels to deal with the processing of grants under EU Research, Technology and Development programmes.

”Such an information centre would advise Irish small, medium and large-scale companies, Irish universities, third level Colleges and local authorities in Ireland as to how to access grants under these RTD programmes 2007-2013.

“€55 billion is a lot of money. The Irish Government must be centrally involved in drawing down part of these monies for the purposes of developing the Irish economy.

Improving our capability in the field of research, technology and development programmes is a central element of the Lisbon agenda which is geared towards making the Irish and European economies more competitive.

“Such a centre would regularly update interested parties as to how these research, technology and development programmes operate, and explain how one applies for funding under the six different initiatives.

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