Dáil Éireann - Volume 433 - 30 June, 1993

Written Answers. - EC Initiatives.

81. Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for the Marine if he will give details of the various European Community initiatives that he has implemented in the period from 1989 to 1993 inclusive; the scope and extent of funding for each programme; if these programmes will be continued in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for the Marine (Mr. Andrews): I have implemented measures under two community initiatives, the INTERREG Programme, the STRIDE Programme.

The Department is responsible for the fisheries measure of the INTERREG Programme. The INTERREG Programme is an EC initiative with the purpose of assisting the internal border regions of the Community, in this instance the Border with Northern Ireland. The moneys available under the fisheries measure in the current programme (which runs from 1991 to the end of 1993) are to be allocated to the inland fisheries sector for a total of nine projects in the Border counties. The total EC grant aid for these projects is IR£555,000.

Ireland's operational programme under the Community initiative STRIDE (Science and Technology for Regional Innovation and Development in Europe) 1991-1993 is directed at developing research, innovation and technological capacity in the four natural resource based areas of marine, environment, forestry [535] and food. The total investment under the programme is £13.5 million of which the Community is funding 75 per cent, with a national contribution of 25 per cent.

The STRIDE Programme for Ireland gives particular recognition to marine research and development where £8 million is being invested over the period in the marine research facilities at the Department's Fisheries Research Centre and other centres of marine expertise around the country. The environment sub-programme is spending £3.466 million in regional facilities for environmental research and monitoring. The forestry sub-programme is spending £1.023 million to establish and co-ordinate research facilities for the forestry industry, and to promote the transfer of technology to the industry sectors. The food sub-programme is spending £0.678 million in technological support for product development in the meat and dairy sectors.

It is the objective to build on initiatives currently being funded under the STRIDE Programme through further investment in national research and technology capability. Proposals in this regard are being considered in the context of the National Development Plan.

The European Commission has recently published a consultative document on Community Initiatives. This document proposes, inter alia, a further INTERREG programme. It does not propose a further STRIDE programme, however, neither does it rule such a programme out. The implications of the consultative document are being examined.