Irish agri-food researchers have been successful in drawing down over €100m in EU funding through the Horizon 2020 research grants programme, which has run for seven years.

The most prominent Irish organisation is Teagasc, which was involved in 63 projects securing almost €18m - the sixth-highest in the programme and the only Irish organisation in the top 20.

Glanbia, The Marine Institute, UCC, UCD and NUI Galway were also well represented in the Irish honours list in terms of the number of projects participated in or funding received.

175 different agri-food projects

In total to date, Irish organisations have been involved in 175 different agri-food projects.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Martin Heydon congratulated the successful researchers and said the country had been extremely successful in securing funding.

“Before the results of the Farm to Fork area of the green deal call were recently announced, Irish researchers had secured over €104m in funding,” Minister Heydon said.

“This is a remarkable achievement, as it is well in excess of the drawdown target earmarked for this area.”

Additional call

There was an additional green deal call announced in mid-2020 and more funding was made available for research in the Farm to Fork area.

While over 260 proposals were submitted, only seven were ultimately recommended for funding.

Minister Heydon stated: “Despite the extremely competitive nature of the Farm to Fork area of the green deal call, I am very proud to see that Irish organisations again excelled and are in line for over 5.3% of the funding allocated to this area worth over €3.75m.

“This is a truly exceptional result and I wholeheartedly wish to congratulate the Irish applicants in these successful proposals, which will help the agri-food industry become more sustainable.”