What EU has done for you
A-to-Z of EU in Ireland
Nationwide guide to some of the EU-funded social and business projects which have enriched the lives of people living in every corner of Ireland.
Ever since Ireland joined in 1973, the European Union has provided significant funding to a range of projects across Ireland. Along with large infrastructural projects, it has funded several local initiatives. Here’s a small selection of what the EU has done for you and your county.
In Carlow, the EU has funded Polish entrepreneur Eva Milka’s Gaelic Escargot snail farm, the Institute of Technology Carlow’s cybercrime course, the educational development of Erasmus+ students, and prizes for St Leo’s College students’ Junior Cert Science Dictionary.
Polish entrepreneur Eva Milka is building up a snail empire from her farm in Co Carlow. The company has developed unique breeding approaches adapted to the Irish climate. The snails are free range and the brand capitalises on Ireland’s reputation as a high-quality food exporter. There is an international shortage of edible snails — the industry is worth €115m in France alone.
In Cavan, the EU has supported winners in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition, CG Power Systems’ Smart Rural Grid project, the Cavan 365 Garda Youth Diversion Project, and the Get Youth Into IT programme.
Best Young Entrepreneur
Recent Best Young Entrepreneur winners in Cavan were: Tyrone Do Couto, Real Dynamics, Carrickaboy, winning a €10k investment for Best New Idea; Norman Ormiston, BearRubber, Virginia, winning a €20,000 investment for Best Start-Up; and Alicia Treanor, NutriSnax Ltd, Poles, winning a €20,000 investment for Best Established Business.
The EU is funding Clare County Library, innovative farming in the Burren, prizes for the Student Enterprise Awards, and Shannon ABC research centre.
Clare County Library
The Clare County Library service has been handed a big boost with the allocation of €1m towards the proposed development of the Clare Cultural Centre in Ennis. The proposed €8.5m facility will locate three separate library services together in one building with a focus on community cohesion, cultural integration and support to the economic and social activity of the town.
In Cork, EU is funding two urban development projects in Cork city, UCC’s research on compulsive behaviour as part of the Tactics programme, the Priz d’Elite for the Irish Atlantic Seafood Company, the Northside Community Health Initiative’s Area-Based Childhood programme, and CAP payments to the tune of almost €205m in 2015.
Cork City projects
Cork City is dividing €5m funding between two projects. The first project is the development of the Marina Park area to provide a contemporary city park with a focus on water-based activities, play and a range of event spaces. In conjunction with this, there are plans to change the perception of the industrial-looking Monahan Road area to an attractive office location.
The second project is a dedicated cycle and pedestrian bridge across the North Channel of the River Lee, linking Merchants Quay to Harley St.
EU has funded The Food Coast, Letterkenny Institute of Technology’s part in the technology project TAOIDE, Arranmore Island’s efforts to be a green energy community, and the Foróige Youth Development Scheme.
The Food Coast
The Food Coast, Donegal’s Good Food Initiative, was developed by LEO Donegal as a programme to support development, growth and quality in Donegal’s food sector. This initiative acts as a central platform for establishing Donegal as a food county, providing food businesses with the opportunity to connect with fellow businesses while engaging the support services of LEO Donegal.
In Dublin, EU has funded OncoMark’s work in prognostics for breast cancer, Dodder Valley Greenway cycle and pedestrian routes, a top prize for Loreto College students’ FenuHealth equine supplements business, and the LEO-operated Food Academy.
OncoMark is dedicated to supporting the discovery and development of novel diagnostics and prognostic assays that help to save lives and improve the quality of life of cancer patients. Recently, OncoMark was awarded €2.7m to develop a diagnostic assay for breast cancer. OncoMark currently employs 10 staff at their laboratories in Dublin and intends to double this over the next two years.
In Galway, the EU has funded Sea Power’s wave energy device testing, work to restore Carrownagappul raised bog, Galway Community Circus, and the involvement of Galway Arts Centre and Cúirt in their third EU transnational project with Sharing the Wor(l)d.
Sea Power is preparing to test its prototype wave energy device at the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site. The company, which also received grant support from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, is progressing to quarter scale testing in open sea conditions for the first time. The sea power device will soon make the short trip from Foynes in Limerick, where it was built, to the Galway Bay test site.
EU has supported the IT Tralee’s TRADEIT project, hundreds of farmers in the EU Milk Reduction Supply Scheme, Kerry Music Education Partnership, and prizes for St Brigid’s Secondary School, Killarney, for its work fostering entrepreneurship.
The Institute of Technology Tralee is co-ordinating the €4.5m TRADEIT project, which has developed a European network of bakery, dairy and meat-producing SMEs, food networks, associations, researchers and technology providers. The project aims to support traditional food producers, by sharing new knowledge, technologies and best practice on product, process and operational innovations.
In Kerry, the EU has supported the Institute of Technology Tralee’s TRADEIT project, hundreds of farmers through the EU Milk Reduction Supply Scheme, and Kerry Music Education Partnership.
The Institute of Technology Tralee is co-ordinating the €4.5m TRADEIT project, which has developed a European network of bakery, dairy and meat-producing SMEs, food networks, associations, researchers and technology providers. The project supports traditional food producers, by sharing new knowledge, technologies and best practice.
In Kildare, the EU has funded Maynooth University’s work on developing an integrated Arctic Observation System (AOS), The Crooked House Theatre Company’s ‘Speak Out’ project, and the Curragh/Newbridge Garda Youth Diversion Project.
NUI Maynooth is a partner in a €15.5m project to develop an integrated AOS by extending, improving and unifying existing systems in the different regions of the Arctic. An integrated AOS will enable better-informed decisions and better-documented processes within key sectors in order to strengthen the role of the Arctic region and support the EU strategy for the Arctic and related maritime and environmental policies.
In Kilkenny, the EU has funded development of the Abbey Creative Quarter in Kilkenny City, feed innovations by Hermitage Heritage Pigs Ltd, and the Young Film Makers group.
Abbey Creative Quarter
The Kilkenny city project has been allocated €1m funding to develop the Abbey Creative Quarter in what was formerly the Smithwicks brewery site. This will include creating a a new Riverside Garden providing access to the Rive Nore and National Monuments and a public square at St Francis Abbey.
In Laois, the EU has funded an initiative to generate business in Rathdowney, prizes for enterprising Mountrath CS students, and Birr Outdoor Education Centre.
An initiative has been launched to generate new business in Rathdowney. Representatives of Laois County Council, the Laois Local Enterprise Office, Laois Partnership and the Institute of Technology Carlow launched the Inspire project to help 20 participants to explore and create new business opportunities.
In Longford, the EU has funded work placement for Templemichael College students, the creation of 50 jobs at Kiernan Structural Steel Ltd, and a project to preserve Ardagullion Bog.
Under the Erasmus+ programme, Templemichael College, Longford College of Further Education, received €63,000 to offer Beauty Therapy and Business Studies students the opportunity to undertake a three-week work placement in Tenerife. The students can work in four and five-star spa hotels, tourist information offices and excursion centres.
In Louth, the EU has funded G&M Steel Fabricators Ltd’s ‘gmSCAN’ project, the upgrading of Clanbrassil Street and rejuvenation of the St Nicholas quarter in Dundalk, and the Food Dudes programme in 63 schools.
G&M Steel Fabricators
G&M Steel Fabricators Ltd received €1.9m of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument funding for its ‘gmSCAN’ project. The company has developed an automatic scanner for determining lean meat distribution in pig carcasses, offering a low-cost grading solution for pork processors. GM Steel is a worldwide market leader in slaughtering and handling systems in meat processing factories.
In Mayo, the EU has funded job creation at retail tech firm CBE Software, amateur sport software platform SportLoMo, and a prize for Best Young Entrepreneur Nigel O’Reilly Goldsmith.
CBE Software is creating 40 new jobs in a R&D-led expansion that will increase the company’s workforce to 150 people by the end of this year. CBE designs and sells point-of-sale solutions for the retail and hospitality sectors and is the largest indigenous retail IT player in Ireland. CBE continues to avail of additional supports via Enterprise Ireland enabling it to expand.
The EU has funded a Hydro International Ltd project, Meath Partnership’s schemes for youth and adult learners, and an enterprise award for St Oliver Post-Primary School students.
Navan’s Hydro International Ltd was awarded €1.69m to develop an anaerobic digestion technology for low-temperature treatment of wastewater in the food and drinks sector. The low-temperature operation allows for 100% of the biogas produced being made available for reuse or resale and has a high impact on environmental savings.
In Monaghan, the EU has funded R&D work at Monaghan Mushrooms, a prize for Patrician High School students’ SpotGet app, and the Local Arts in Education Partnership.
Monaghan Mushrooms is involved key projects, such as the €8m ODIN Vitamin D deficiency study, as well as a BIOrescue project to develop an innovative biorefinery concept based on the use of spent mushroom substrate, and the MACY (Microbiological Augmentation of Mushroom Compost to Improve Yield, Quality and Flavour of Mushrooms) initiative.
In Offaly, the EU is supporting a telescope project at Birr Castle, an Innovation Award for Gallen Community School students’ Farm Friendly Feeder business, and a street enhancement project in Tullamore.
EU funding will enable an advanced hi-tech telescope to be built at Birr Castle, Co Offaly — which was home to the largest telescope on earth in 1845. The LOFAR project aims to build a new modern telescope to join the wider European network of similar telescopes called the ILT. The LOFAR telescope in Birr will be the ILT’s most westerly telescope — the ILT network stretches all the way from from Ireland to eastern Poland.
The wave energy prototype device being developed by Sea Power in Galway Bay.
Eva Milka, founder of Gaelic Escargot, who is building up a snail empire in Co Carlow.
Some of the 2,500 students from 100+ countries who visit University of Limerick each year under the Erasmus exchange programme. Each year, thousands of Irish students also study in EU member states under Erasmus, one of numerous EU-funded exchange schemes.
Hydro International, which is developing unique anaerobic digestion technology in Navan.