Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (302)

David Stanton

Question:

302. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if any Government Departments are planning to be involved in 2013 EU funding under the competitiveness and innovation programme and seventh framework programme; the calls for pre-commercial procurement grants open at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9619/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Ireland’s researchers and companies have been involved in more than 1,500 successful applications obtaining European Commission funding of approximately €485 million (2007-2012) under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The overall Irish success rate at 22.7%, is above the European Member State average of 22.1%, and a very positive indication of the prospects for Irish participation over the lifetime of FP7 and broadly in line with our national targets. Ireland’s involvement in the 2013 work programme is expected to reflect participation to date, i.e. demonstrating an application success rate above the EU average.

In July 2012, the European Commission launched its final and largest ever package of FP7 calls, an €8.1 billion work programme for 2013. This work programme is currently underway, with closing dates for proposals spanning September 2012 to year end 2013. Funding will be awarded in 2013 – 2014.

The limited budget attached to the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) means that it is not an expenditure-orientated programme like FP7 or the Cohesion Policy Funds, but one that seeks to achieve its ambitions and broadly defined objects by leveraging its ideas, products and partnerships into other policies and programmes. Enterprise Ireland will be engaging with CIP funding for 2013 through the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) which is the primary instrument for the CIP programme. As suitable calls arise, the EEN will be engaging with its client base. One very concrete benefit to Ireland and SMEs from this programme is its joint funding of the Enterprise Europe Network, which is in the region of €450,000 per year.

In relation to Pre-Commercial Procurement, there is Irish involvement in two pilot programmes in the CIP ICT Policy Support Programme. These pilot programmes mainly address interoperability of public service pilots on a large scale across Europe, with the ultimate objective of wide-scale service uptake eventually by all 27 member states. Under this year’s 2013 call for this work programme, PPI (Public Procurement of Innovative solutions) instruments will be used for the first time, in anticipation of their wide-scale use in Horizon 2020 to fund innovation procurement.

While there has been no Irish participation to date in FP7 ICT PCP projects, there are some PCP topics within the current ICT call and there is evidence of some interest by Irish academia in exploring the feasibility of involvement with a PCP in the technology-enhanced learning area.