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European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science visits Northern Ireland
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07/06/2012 00:00:00

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, visited Northern Ireland today at the invitation of Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Arlene Foster.

During her visit to Northern Ireland, the Commissioner highlighted the importance of research and innovation in Europe 2020, the EU's strategy for economic growth and job creation.  Part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe is Horizon 2020, the EU's new programme for research and innovation which runs from 2014-2020 and has a projected budget of €80 billion.

    European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science visits Northern Ireland

    Pictured before the replica of the famous staircase at Titanic Belfast (from left to right) are European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Arlene Foster MLA and the Irish Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton TD.  All three speakers were attending a conference, organised by InterTradeIreland and the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland, on building closer links in the fields of research, innovation and science.  Photo M T Hurson/Harrisons.

    Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn visited Parliament Buildings where she met with the Principal Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Francie Molloy MLA, and addressed members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT), members of the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the Committee of the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister.

    The Commissioner gave the keynote address at the "Collaborate to Innovate pdf - 77 KB [77 KB] " conference, organised by InterTradeIreland and the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland, where she highlighted that innovation is a central building block in all parts of the Horizon 2020 programme, as well as underlining the importance of turning innovative ideas into products and services that create growth and jobs. 

    "Northern Ireland is rightly declaring its ambition as a centre for innovation in Europe. We must all ‘collaborate to innovate’ to fix Europe's economy and tackle the global challenges faced by our society," said Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn. 

    Following an informal discussion with ministers on the Northern Ireland Executive Sub-Committee on the Economy, Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn met with First Minister Peter Robinson MLA and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA.

    The Commissioner welcomed the determination of the Northern Ireland Executive to support the EU's aim to put innovation at the heart of government's drive to foster entrepreneurship and growth of jobs and economic activity.

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    Last update: 08/06/2012  |Top