Trinity College Dublin has led the way in Ireland, securing the first funding award under Horizon 2020, the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. An award of €175,000 has just been granted to the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) to host Discover Research Night next September.
A showcase of research activities, Discover Research Night (September 26th next as well as 2015) will invite the public to engage with the world of research in an action packed programme, where leading researchers in their laboratories will provide a wide range of demonstrations and hands-on activities, allowing for discovery, questions and audience participation. The objectives of the project are to challenge perceptions held by the public about researchers and to promote research as an exciting career option. It also aims to demonstrate creativity and innovation in research across all disciplines and to show that researchers are dynamic contributors to society.
“TBSI is delighted to have won the first Horizon 2020 award in Ireland. We look forward very much to hosting the Discover Research Night,” said TBSI academic director, professor of Biochemistry, Luke O’Neill.
“This event is a wonderful opportunity for public engagement, to showcase research in Trinity, while also demonstrating how research creates jobs as well as discoveries. TCD’s Global Relations Office is a key partner and many of the participating activities will be ‘live-streamed’ between collaborating research groups in Trinity and across Europe. By offering Trinity’s researchers the opportunity to present both to the public and to each other, we hope to generate new interdisciplinary ideas, opportunities and collaborations that will compete successfully for Horizon 2020 funding,” added Professor of Comparative Immunology, Cliona O’Farrelly.
The European Commission launched the new seven year Horizon 2020 programme this year with a budget in excess of €80bn, the largest research programme globally. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.
The Irish Government has set a target of securing €1.25bn in funding from Horizon 2020 and TCD aims to secure awards of €150m, almost double that awarded under the previous Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
TCD is currently implementing a research diversification strategy focusing on securing more non-exchequer funding for research. A key part of this strategy is securing funds from the EU Horizon 2020 programme.
TCD’s targets for securing such funding over Horizon 2020’s seven years are very ambitious and in particular emphasis has been placed on increasing the number of collaborative projects that are coordinated by TCD.
“TCD is committed to delivering on our ambitious targets for Horizon 2020 and ensuring that Trinity remains Ireland’s leading university on the international stage.
“In this regard this success not only places TCD on the road map for what is hoped will be a very successful programme of participation in Horizon 2020 but also represents the first project to be coordinated by TCD,” concluded director of Trinity Research & Innovation, Dr Diarmuid O’Brien.
The proposal, which was submitted to the Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) section of the Horizon 2020 programme, was led by Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, and the RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) will be a contributing partner.