The European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn met with the Western Development Commission to discuss how the European Commission can assist theWDC in its role of promoting the social and economic development of the Western Region.
The WDC’s focus on jobs and growth is very much in line with the European Commission’s efforts. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn applauded the WDC on its work in providing risk capital to SMEs, and the development of the Creative Industry and Renewable Energy sectors. The Commissioner was very heartened to learn that the WDC has played a significant role in funding the indigenous MedTech sector in the Western Region which is recognised internationally as a Centre of Excellence. This type of Smart Regional Specialisation is a key requirement to access EU funding in future and the work of theWDC has put the West in a strong position to access future funding to develop the western economy.
Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn highlighted the many opportunities for public and private organisations in the Western Region to drawdown funding under EU research, innovation and science programmes.
Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn invited a delegation from the Western Development Commission to come to Brussels this year for discussions with senior officials from the European Commission concerning future policy priorities in the areas of research, innovation and science, EU Structural Funds, agriculture and food, marine issues and enterprise matters.
TheWDC very much welcomed this opportunity as it will give the Western Region the opportunity to highlight the vast potential of a rural region like the West whilst also ensuring that policy and funding programmes are developed to exploit this potential, assisting the creation of enterprise and jobs in the region.