IBEC joins EU project to drive research and innovation
18 August 2014 | 0
The representative group for Irish businesses, IBEC, has joined an EU programme that aims to drive research and innovation, readying businesses for Horizon 2020.
The eDIGIREGION programme has 15 partners, including Hungary, Spain and Romania, that will foster and participate in research to enhance competitiveness.
eDIGIREGION, it funded within the Seventh Framework Programme under the Regions’ Theme of transnational cooperation between regional research-driven clusters, is a project that will ready regions to take full advantage of Horizon 2020 in the smart specialisation domain of the EU Digital Agenda.
As part of eDIGIREGION, government, universities, and the business community will come together to develop joint action plans (JAPs) aligned with economic priorities for the region. This enhanced collaboration across regions and countries is expected to boost competitiveness. A unique aspect is that researchers and SMEs will be able to engage with live research, and ensure greater research and innovation commercialisation, according to the programme web site.
The project brings together four high-potential research clusters across Europe to design and implement regional plan for research and innovation. Ireland’s South East joins Central Hungary, Castilla-La Mancha in Spain and Bucharest-Ilfov in Romania and will carry out research as part of the EU Digital Agenda. The programme has a fund of €2.8 million.
“Ireland has already established itself as an international hub for technology and innovation with more than 105,000 people employed,” said Paul Sweetman, ICT Ireland and Irish Software Association Director, “but we can do more to ensure regional development. eDIGIREGION will give the South East a competitive advantage and we hope that it will help us attract more companies to the region.”
“What this project does is create opportunities for business to use the digital economy to help them grow. A central repository created by the project is expected to become an invaluable resource for researchers and business as it will provide easy access to examples of best practice. This will help business across a number of sectors, not just ICT, expand and create more jobs for a more sustainable growth.”