Approximately €9 billion remains to be allocated under the last call of the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Horizon 2020, the EU's new programme for research for the period 2014-2020, currently has a projected budget of €80 billion.
Delegates at the conference will be given advice on how to access EU funding opportunities for collaborative research and innovation projects available to companies, academics and interested organisations from Northern Ireland and Ireland. There will be particular emphasis on available opportunities for SMEs.
SME involvement in the funding programmes is strongly encouraged and the conference will look closely at funding schemes that are solely dedicated to support SMEs, namely 'Research for the Benefit of SMEs' and 'Research for the Benefit of SME Associations'.
Northern Ireland and Ireland are well placed to benefit from EU funding opportunities with a wealth of leading universities, research institutes and an enterprising SME community.
Maurice Maxwell, Head of the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland said: "With such a large amount of money available under EU funding programmes, the European Commission is keen to encourage maximum participation in EU-funded research, especially, where appropriate, in relation to innovative SMEs."
Aidan Gough, InterTradeIreland Strategy and Policy Director said: “We know that EU funding applications which include consortia from both Northern Ireland and Ireland have a greater success rate than those that don’t. With events such as this one, InterTradeIreland is hoping to inform and encourage delegates and provide the North-South collaborative opportunities that will foster successful partnerships for the future.”