Belfast Telegraph

Businesses in Northern Ireland and the Republic strike gold through EU funding

By John Mulgrew

Businesses and research teams from Northern Ireland and the Republic have won a total of €45.5m (£38m) from Europe's funding programme Horizon 2020, new figures have shown.

The research supported covers a range of areas including personal health, food security, information and communication technologies, low carbon energy, the bioeconomy and gender equality.

And Belfast's own Harland & Wolff has benefited from the scheme, after tidal energy project FloTec - which has partnered with the former ship builder - secured funding. The funding stream awarded £7.75m to advance the commercialisation of Scotrenewables' floating tidal energy technology.

Jonathan Guest, fabrication director of Harland & Wolff Heavy Industries, which employs 124 staff in Belfast, said: "To have a slice of the Horizon 2020 European Research and Innovation Programme money is a boost to the future of manufacturing, showcasing the province on a global scale as industry experts in the field of complex renewables and fabrication.

"Collaboration is a vital component in making tidal energy a reality and we see European funding streams, such as Horizon 2020, as excellent opportunities to work in partnership with experts at the very top of their fields.

"We are working closely with a variety of technical partners, including a number based in the Republic of Ireland, and believe that working closely with partners in the cross-border market on this renewable project is helping to strengthen the all-island energy economy."

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