Alyn meets with Queen Margaret University to discuss EU funding

Alyn Smith, SNP Member of the European Parliament, visited Queen Margaret University this week to discuss future EU funding opportunities, primarily through a programme called ‘Horizon 2020’ which will run from January next year.

Horizon 2020 is the European Union's future funding programme for research and innovation and offers massive opportunities for scientists, technologists and researchers in Scotland and beyond. It will provide between 71 and 100 billion euros for research projects across the European Union and, as we already have a world class reputation for research and innovation, Scottish universities, companies and research institutes have an excellent opportunity to apply for some of the funding.

Central to the ethos behind Horizon 2020 is the link between research and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), an area where QMU has excelled in recent years.

Commenting, Alyn Smith MEP said:

“Horizon 2020 will provide a fantastic opportunity for research and innovation across the whole of Europe and Scots should be seizing the opportunity to secure part of that funding.

“In order to be successful, Scottish researchers and companies must prepare their bids now for the launch of Horizon 2020 on 1st January 2014. After meeting QMU staff and seeing first-hand the work that is going on here in Musselburgh, I can tell that they are ideally placed to capture some of the funding when it becomes available.

“Horizon 2020 is all about bridging the gap between research and the market and QMU is doing exactly that through their fantastic connection with SMEs. This will be central to securing a funding boost.

“The exact amount of funding to be made available is still being negotiated, with myself and colleagues in the Parliament arguing for €100 bn over 7 years. It remains to be seen whether or not that amount can be secured but, at the very least, funding for Horizon 2020 will not fall below €71 bn which is a substantial increase on the previous programme.”

Professor Petra Wend, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, added:

“During this productive visit, we showcased our expertise in food and drink, shared news of our recent successes in this field, particularly in terms of our work with small businesses, and discussed ways of developing this work further for the benefit of the economy locally, nationally and in Europe. A particular focus of discussion was the specialist advice we can offer to address the pressing issue of  food security.”