Liam Aylward, MEP for Ireland East has welcomed today’s announcement by Irish Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn that €7 billion will be invested in the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7) in the largest invitation to be made to researchers and innovators to compete for EU funding.

Responding to the announcement the MEP said:

“This funding is the biggest ever such funding package, under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7) to be announced and will put research and innovation at the top of the agenda for growth and jobs in the EU.”

The FP7 is the largest research funding programme in the world with a budget of more than €53 billion for 2007-2013.  The €7 billion announced today is expected to create an estimated 174,000 jobs in the short term and almost 450,000 jobs and nearly €80 billion in growth over the next few years.

According to the Ireland East MEP, Irish researchers and SMEs will be in line to directly benefit from today’s announcement,

“Irish researchers, universities and the private sector have drawn down €300 million from the FP7 Programme to date and are on course to draw down €600 million over the lifetime of this Programme.  This funding and investment represents a real route to sustainable growth and jobs and will strengthen Ireland’s position at the cutting edge of research and innovation.”