Over the six-year period from 2014-2020, Irish organisations participated in 314 marine-focused collaborative projects resulting in over €158 million total grant-aid. Horizon 2020 was the programme with the highest grant-aid of €91.5 million and the highest number of projects at 147 with Irish participation. A total of 84 Interreg V projects received grant-aid of €58 million.
Small and Medium Enterprises were the main recipient of this EU grant-aid, based on number of participating organisations across the six programmes reviewed, followed by public bodies and Higher Education Institutes.
“This publication shows the breadth and scale of marine-related research, training and innovation being undertaken in Ireland,” Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute said. “For the next phase of EU funding instruments, we have a unique opportunity to evolve marine research capacity in Ireland, by collaborating and integrating international expertise, for example through the Horizon Europe Framework Programme.”
Horizon Europe includes the five EU Missions which aim to address societal challenges, to connect with citizens and empower them as actors of change. One of the five Missions sets out to Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030, which requires a new systemic and global approach. The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030) also offers a unique opportunity to engage with the global community in addressing the UN Sustainable Development agenda, and the potential of the ocean to contribute to this agenda is huge.
Dr Connolly added, “We are at an exciting moment in our relationship with the ocean. The decade ahead is crucial as we all pursue the vision of a healthy, clean, sustainable ocean that will allow future generations to thrive on our planet.”
The report New Connections IV complements its predecessors New Connections I, II (2007– 2013) and III (2014–2016). New Connections IV includes projects funded under the following EU programmes: Horizon 2020, Interreg V, European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), Erasmus+, LIFE and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
The report, New Connections IV, A Review of Irish Participation in EU Marine Research Projects 2014–2020, is available to download here