Two UCD researchers and CEO of UCD spin-out firm honoured for Horizon 2020 leadership

Posted June 29, 2017

  • Awards recognise recipients as champions of European Union research
  • Irish researchers on track for meeting Horizon 2020 funding targets


Two UCD researchers and the CEO of a UCD spin-out company have received Horizon 2020 outstanding achievement awards that recognise them as champions of European Union research.

Professor Suzanne Kingston, Professor Fiona Doohan and Mr Des O’Leary, CEO, Oncomark Ltd, are among 16 individuals who have received awards for their projects that exhibited leadership in their ¸ programme areas.

The awards were presented by John Halligan T.D. Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, and Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland.

Professor Suzanne Kingston, UCD Sutherland School of Law, was honoured in the ERC Starting Grant category. Her project entitled, ‘The Influence of New Environmental Governance Rules on Environmental Compliance’ focuses on legal architectures. The project achieved the highest ranking for an Irish applicant for this grant type.

Pictured right: from top, Professor Imedla Maher accepts the Horizon 2020 achievement award on behalf of Professor Suzanne Kingston from Minister John Halligan; Mr Des O'Leary, CEO Oncomark; and bottom, Professor Fiona Doohan accepts her award

Professor Fiona Doohan, UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science, was one of two Irish researchers to receive an award in the “recognising the career development of our next generation researchers” category.

More specifically, she was honoured for leadership of her Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks in the area of Training in Innovative and Integrated Control of Cereal Diseases. Professor Doohan’s project was ranked first in her respective call.

Mr Des O’Leary, CEO of UCD spin-out company Oncomark Ltd, was honoured in the SME instrument category for leadership of the OncoMasTR project that is developing a new prognostic test for early stage breast cancer. OncoMasTR was the highest scoring Irish project in the Horizon 2020 SME instrument.

“The breadth of projects nominated for awards today inspires confidence in the continued excellence and dedication to research and innovation in Irish society,” said Minister Halligan.

"I congratulate the UCD recipients of these very important awards, and hope that their success will inspire further success in Horizon 2020 across the university," said Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact.

"Horizon 2020 is an important source of funding for research and innovation and provides a mechanism for researchers and Irish enterprise to network and collaborate with the best researchers and leading companies across Europe,” said Ms Sinnamon.

Dr Imelda Lambkin, National Director for Horizon 2020, said the awards were about “recognising what has worked well for Ireland’s researchers to date and applying that knowledge to position Ireland to make best use of the available funding from Horizon 2020”.

The awards recognise the contribution of awardees to Ireland’s success in being on track for achieving its target of 1.67% of the €75 billion budget from the Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for research and innovation.

Horizon 2020 runs over the period 2014-2020 and has a total budget of €75 billion. Ireland’s national target of securing €1.25 billion in EU funding is equivalent to 1.67% of the overall Horizon 2020 budget. To date, Ireland has secured funding of €424 million, representing 1.66% of the total EU budget committed.

Enterprise Ireland hosted the award event on behalf of Ireland’s National Support Network for Horizon 2020.

By: Jamie Deasy, digital journalist, UCD University Relations