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Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument supporting Research & Innovation in the EU implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. 

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s (DAFM) role in Horizon 2020: DAFM facilitates Irish involvement in Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge by providing a National Delegate (Mr. Richard Howell) and the National Contact Point (Mr. Patrick Barrett).

The National Delegate has an influential role regarding the Societal Challenge 2 Work Programme and the related Programme Committee while the role of the National Contact Point is to increase Irish participation and success in the Horizon 2020 programme. The National Contact Point includes the following activities: provision of information and advice; identification of potential participants; assistance with partner search activities; pre-submission support; support and training including on legal, contractual and IPR issues (for successful participants); post call review; ongoing advice and support on next steps for successful and unsuccessful applicants.

Further information on Horizon 2020 is available from:

Patrick Barrett (National Contact Point)
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 1 6072302, Mobile: +353 86 830 7726

Liam Finnegan
Email: and/or
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
Tel: +3535 1 6072543

The SC2 National Delegate and Contact Point are also members of the Enterprise Ireland led National Horizon 2020 Support Network where they work closely with other National Delegates, National Contact Points and Academic Institutions Research Offices to promote agri-food related Irish participation in Horizon 2020 across the other two pillars (e.g. Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, Infrastructures, Cross Cutting Activities e.g. Industry in the Circular Economy and Internet of Things, SME instrument and Fast Track To Innovation and other relevant Challenge areas of Horizon 2020 Pillar 3 in particular health (SC-1), energy (SC-3), environment (SC-5) and inclusive societies (SC-6). Operational support is also available from Enterprise Ireland for making applications to Horizon 2020 calls.

Horizon 2020 is broken down into three main pillars: 1. Excellent Science, 2. Industrial Leadership and 3. Societal Challenges. Societal Challenge 2 is one of seven societal challenges and encompasses research and innovation calls in relation to food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy. It has an overall budget of €3.8bn for the period 2014-2020. 

The primary aim of the Societal Challenge 2 programme is to contribute to securing sufficient supplies of safe, healthy and high quality food and bio based products and transform Europe into a sustainable bioeconomy. Work programmes announce the specific areas that will be funded by Horizon 2020 and to-date have been announced on a bi-annual basis.

European Innovation Partnership & Other Agri-Food related innovation:

  • The European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture productivity and sustainability (EIP-AGRI) has produced a specific brochure on Horizon 2020 calls 2016 highlighting the opportunities for funding of interest in particular for agriculture, forestry, bioeconomy and rural areas. 
  • There is also further information available on EU funding opportunities related to innovation in agriculture, food and forestry found here. Further research and innovation opportunities can be also found here
  • The Societal Challenge 2 research & innovation community in Ireland should consider participating in the European Innovation Partnership with regard to sharing projects, ideas, and seeking out partners amongst many actions and possibilities available.
  • Relevant innovation finance opportunities related to agri-food can also be found here.
  • Relevant details for funding instruments for agri-food SMEs can be found here.


The Scientific Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) launched in late 2015 a foresight report in relation to the Bioeconomy.

The 2017 BBI JU Call for proposals is now opened.  This is the link in the participant portal.
The opening date was: 11 April 2017
The deadline is as follows: 7 September 2017 at 17:00 (Brussels time)

Please see the Biobased Industries Joint Technology Initiative website for more details 


OECD opens funding call

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – through its Co-operative Research Programme (CRP) – has opened a call for applications to fund research fellowships and attendance at international conferences (such as workshops, congresses and symposia) in 2018.

The CRP is supported by 24 of the 34 OECD member countries (including Ireland) and operates under three themes:

  • Managing Natural Capital for the Future;
  • Managing Risks in a Connected World;
  • Transformational Technologies and Innovation.

The CRP supports travelling fellowships from six to 26 weeks for established scientists and supports conferences/workshops on issues relevant to the programme and OECD.

More information, including full details of the application process and selection criteria for both the fellowships and conference support, is available on the OECD website.

Patrick Barrett (National Correspondent for the CRP for Ireland ( - (01-6072302 or 086-8307726)) is happy to assist Irish scientists wishing to apply.