The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) is Ireland’s top performer under Horizon2020, the European Commission’s research and innovation framework programme. MSCA is currently the area of highest drawdown nationally, with awards totalling €143m since the beginning of the programme in 2014. Ireland ranks second among European Union countries in terms of MSCA budget awarded per 100,000 inhabitants. The total amount awarded to Irish researchers and companies under Horizon2020 to date is €804m. Over 56% of this has been secured by the higher education sector.
The Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office, is jointly operated by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and the Irish Research Council (IRC). The office is managed by Dr Geraldine Canny and provides high-quality support to MSCA applicants including proposal review, detailed application handbooks and workshops. This valuable support, to all disciplines, is made possible through IRC funding.
There remains a significant amount of funding available through competitive calls for the remainder of 2019 and in 2020. The Irish Marie Skłodowska-Curie Office, Enterprise Ireland and the wider national contact point network are committed to preparing those interested to successfully submit their proposal.
Commenting on the success Dr. Lisa Keating, Director of Research & Innovation at the Irish Universities Association said, “Funding under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions enables top talent from Europe and further afield to come to Ireland to carry out cutting edge research, in turn contributing to and helping drive the development of a world-leading research and education base in Ireland. Our success in this programme, and its contribution to the research excellence inherent in Ireland, plays a role in the continued development of our indigenous and FDI research and manufacturing sectors.”
Peter Brown, Director of the Irish Research Council, commented that “A vibrant research environment is enabled through excellent research across all disciplines. MSCA is a vital funding stream for Ireland and supports the development of a broad-based research eco-system. Investment by the Council in the Irish MSCA Office through our strategic partnership with the IUA has supported excellent performance by Ireland in this funding programme. This has benefited individual researchers working in diverse fields, and research-performing institutions more broadly. We look forward to continued success in MSCA for Ireland’s research and innovation community.”
One particular strand of MSCA that has benefited hugely from dedicated national support is COFUND. Ireland has enjoyed remarkable success in the MSCA COFUND programme with 70% of Irish COFUND applications funded compared to 22% EU-wide. Thirteen COFUNDs are currently running nationally, which has enabled the recruitment of researchers to Ireland, thereby building the national Research and Innovation talent pipeline.