Need help with your European  research proposals

h2020 visual

Benefit from our successful track record to maximize your prospects in competing for EU research funding

Be ready with our help [+]


Company Services

  • Benchmarking - do you do better than your competitors?
  • More profits thro' LEAN operations
  • More success in your innovation & LEAN Product Development
  • Customer insights and better innovation with Design-Thinking
More PROFIT with our training, consultancy and facilitation services

Institute for Peace Support and Leadership TrainingInstitute for Peace Support and Leadership Training - 22 November 2018

CIRCA Group is engaged in a project for the Dept. of Defence (Ireland) on the feasibility of an Institute for Peace Support and Leadership Training. This study was included in the 2015 White Paper on Defence (see below) and will review a possible institute which ‘would have international standing and contribute to the overall development of knowledge and experience in .. peace support and conflict resolution’.

Project on Future national Environmental Health actionsProject on Future national Environmental Health actions - 16 November 2018

 CIRCA is assisting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Health Services Executive (HSE) to collect views from public organisations on national priorities for research in Environmental Health. They plan to develop a roadmap that will inform the future direction of national research funding in this field. Further information on the process is also available in the link on the left. 

Innovation Training for 2017 - 06 December 2016


December 2016 - Circa will be offering inhouse and public training courses in R and D Tax CreditsHorizon 2020research fundingDesign Thinking, Innovation Support Schemes and Lean Product Development in 2017. Contact us for further details

New Horizon 2020 project successes - 30 November 2016

Circa have recently concluded a number of Horizon 2020 stage 1 proposals which have been successfully passed onto stage 2

CIRCA win Contract to advise INFANT Research Centre - 28 October 2015

CIRCA Group have won a contract to advise the INFANT Research Centre in UCC on its management structure, and on specification of new roles. The INFANT Centre is core-funded by Science Foundation Ireland and specialises in health issues related to pregnancy and neo-natology. It has a wide range of industry funders. See

BioConnect Ireland Meeting on Consumer Genomics - 23 March 2015

 Dr Jim Ryan of CIRCA will chair a meeting of BioConnect Ireland on the theme of 'Consumer Genomics'  in the Davenport Hotel, Dublin on 14 April at 3.00.  BioConnect Ireland is a networking organisation for the Life Sciences sector,  and is free to attend.   See the registration details below.  

Speakers will review genomic information provided directly to consumers including services related to fitness and personal nutrition.  A study on consumer reaction to these services will also be reviewed.  

 read more ...
CIRCA deliver Report on 'Design-Driven Innovation' - 10 March 2015

CIRCA delivered a report on “Design-Driven Innovation: Why it Matters For SME Competitiveness” to the Northern and Western Regional Assembly (NWRA). This report was funded under the European Design Innovation Initiative by the European Commission’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007-2013). CIRCA are the commissioned research consultants for the project which involved collaboration with the NWRA and was driven through the support of a dedicated project steering group.  Above shows CIRCA's Pat Lawlor with Minister Jed Nash at the report launch.

 read more ...
Review of Irish membership of 9 international Research organisations - 13 December 2014

CIRCA is conducting a review for the Irish Dept of Jobs, Enterprise & Employment (DJEI) on the benefit,  or potential benefit to researchers and industry,  of Ireland’s membership of 14 international research organisations.

The review will assess the current and potential benefits of membership of 9 international research organisations to Irish researchers and enterprises. The organisations to be considered include 4 of which Ireland is currently a member (ESA, EMBL, COST and EUREKA) and 5 of which Ireland is not yet a member,  or which are still in development, The project is led by CIRCA with partners from    Fraunhofer ISI Institute and Beta (France).

CIRCA in Successful H2020 Project - 28 November 2014

CIRCA is a partner in the LANDMARK project, which has won funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme in the area of  Sustainable Food Security (Societal Challenge 2). The LANDMARK project is coordinated by Rachel Creamer of Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, Wexford.  Jim Codd of CIRCA  is looking after contractual and financial issues for this project.  LANDMARK is a pan-European multi-actor consortium of leading academic and applied research institutes, chambers of agriculture and policy-makers that will develop a coherent framework for soil management aimed at sustainable food production across Europe. The LANDMARK proposal builds on the concept that soils are a finite resource that provides a range of ecosystem services known as “soil functions”.

Health Innovation Hub Study completed - 20 May 2014

CIRCA Group has completed a study on the demonstration phase of the Health Innovation Hub, a programme to (a) facilitate access by Irish companies to the health system for testing and validation of innovative products, and (b) promotion of innovation within the health system leading to new practices and products. The project was commissioned by Enterprise Ireland on behalf of a National Project Team which is managing the process. The demonstrator phase was run in the Cork area using local hospitals and primary care centres.  Further information is at

Introduction to Horizon 2020 Course at Dundalk IT. - 03 March 2014

  CIRCA Group presented a Workshop on Horizon 2020 to the staff of Dundalk IT, and to companies in the DKIT incubator on 26th February.   The workshop was presented by Aidan Kennedy, Jim Codd and Jim Ryan of CIRCA who provide assistance to organisations preparing proposals for submission to this EU R&D programme which has a total budget approaching €80Billion.  CIRCA are available to provide assistance or short introductory courses on H2020. 

Details of CIRCA services are at

CIRCA-supported R&D teams have won €130m in FPs. - 08 January 2014

 A recent review of client work has shown that collectively, CIRCA consultants Jim Codd, Aidan Kennedy, and Jim Ryan have assisted over 100 research teams to submit FP proposals, with a success rate of 45%. This is more than twice the average FP success rate. Very few organisations have achieved this level of success. Total research funding won by research teams advised by CIRCA amounts to ~ €130m.  CIRCA staff have also managed 14 FP projects (to the value of €46m) on behalf of successful research consortia.

CIRCA in Science Park Project in Romania - 28 December 2013

CIRCA are partners in a project to provide technical assistance to Romania on the development of a system of Science Parks.  The project is funded by the European Investment Bank under the JASPERS programme and CIRCA is part of a consortium led by OVE ARUP and Partners Ireland (Arup) which is providing  technical assistance to Romania on the RDTI based activities which will be funded by the Cohesion fund. The project supports the review and analysis of the Research, Technological Development and Innovation (RDTI) based activities within Romania and is titled ‘Development of an Investment Program for the financing of Science Parks’.  It involves a review of current Science Parks (and related infrastructures) and provision of advice on the policies and practices which might be adopted by Romania using the RTDI investment in the Romanian Operational Programme.  

CIRCA Surveys on R&D Priorities - 16 October 2013

CIRCA are conducting separate but related surveys of Irish industry to collect views on future priority themes for funding of R&D in public institutions (i.e. universities and Research institutes).   The surveys will also seek views on the current status of interactions between industry and these institutions, and on ways in which this important relationship might be improved.   These surveys are part of the on-going process of defining National R&D priorities which started with the Report of the Research Prioritisation Steering Group.   CIRCA also supported the work of this group. 

 read more ...
CIRCA Facebook page - 09 October 2013

CIRCA Group has launched a Facebook page where we propose to highlight news of relevance to clients and to the innovation sector in general,  as well as providing background to our own projects.   Visit us at and also send us items for sharing on the page. 

More Framework Projects managed by CIRCA - 22 July 2013

 Jim Codd of CIRCA is currently providing financial and contractual management for several large Framework projects which involve researcher,  industry and other partners from many EU countries.   These include: 

  • MushTV   Solutions to Trichoderma and Virus X threats in the mushroom industry
  • GrassMargins    Enhancing biomass production from marginal lands with perennial grasses
  • SolarSoft   Development of Ultra Soft Copper Conductors for use in Solar Photovoltaic Applications
  • AUTOGRASSMILK systems combining automatic milking and precision grazing

Financial management includes advice in all matters financial, and facilitating the completion of the financial reports internally and to the EC. Contractual management includes ensuring that the provisions of the EC grant agreements and the consortium agreements are implemented.


Training Contract in Bosnia Herzegovina - 14 July 2013

CIRCA Group has won a contract, in partnership with IDI Ireland, on “Capacity Building of Bosnia Herzegovina in European Research and Technology Development Programmes and Initiatives”. The project involves training academic and industry researchers and other relevant actors in Bosnia Herzegovina on EU funding opportunities.   The contract, for 15 months, will involve CIRCA experts in providing intensive courses on the opportunities and mechanisms for participation in EU Framework Programmes, and on other programmes such as COST and EUREKA.   The first training seminar entitled "Introduction to the COST Programme" took place at Banja Luka in the Republika Srpska on July 11th 2013.

CIRCA in JASPERS-funded project in Romania - 13 July 2013

CIRCA has won a contract, as part of a consortium led by OVE ARUP and Partners Ireland (Arup) to provide technical assistance to Romania on the RDTI based activities which will be funded by the Cohesion fund. The project is titled ‘Analysis & Evidence Base of R&D&I Market in Romania’. The assignment will involve identifying possible priorities for RTDI investment in the Romanian Operational Programme; propose specific projects to address these priorities, and propose mechanisms for their implementation. The project is funded by the European Investment Bank under the JASPERS programme. 

Contract to develop central IP Office in United Arab Emirates. - 27 March 2013

CIRCA Group, with 360IP (Singapore), a subsidiary of Battelle Corp (USA), and Envision (Switzerland) has won a contract to support the establishment of a Centralized Innovation and Technology Transfer Office (CITTO) in the United Arab Emirates. The client is the Technology Development Committee in Abu Dhabi.   CITTO will offer a wider range of services, including patent and commercialization support. The project will involve extensive liaison with local stakeholders to devise suitable processes and structures for the planned organisation. 

CIRCA to manage EU Autograssmilk Project - 26 March 2013

CIRCA Group is part of a consortium of farmers, researchers and advisors within an EU project named AUTOGRASSMILK which will develop and implement sustainable farming systems involving automatic milking of grazing dairy cows. CIRCA will provide management services to the consortium, which is led by Dr. Bernadette O’Brien of Teagasc, Moorepark and involves farmers and researchers from 6 countries. Further information is at

Economic Impact Review of Business Innovation Centres (BICs) - 21 February 2013
CIRCA has won a contract from Enterprise Ireland to conduct an Economic Impact review of the 4 Business Innovation Centres. The study will review the range of activities of the BICs, their outputs and the nature and extent of the supports provided to start-up and other companies at various stages of their development. 
Evaluation of Competitive Start Fund - 10 October 2012

CIRCA was commissioned to conduct an evaluation of the Competitive Start Fund.  This Enterprise Ireland programme is designed "to accelerate the growth of start-up companies that have the capability to succeed in global markets".  It provides funding of €50K to new start-up companies for defined activities.   Our evaluation involved an on-line survey  of ~ 350 successful and unsuccessful applicants;   interviews with companies,  mentors,  venture funders and other intermediaries;  and review of the application process.   Further information on the fund is available here.

Support for Technology Core Facility in Athlone Inst. of Technology - 10 September 2012

CIRCA has been commissioned by Athlone Institute of Technology to support the development of a Technology Core Facility which will offer R&D and other technical services to regional companies and other RTD partners. This project is directly linked to the EU-funded Sharebiotech project of which AIT is a founder partner.   The CIRCA task is to review the internal expertise, facilities and infrastructure of AIT in the biotechnology research area and to propose a model for a facility which will meet the needs of regional and national companies, and which will also offer its services within the EU through the Sharebiotech network.  

Support for Bulgarian Technology Park - 01 August 2012

CIRCA is one of a consortium of experts commissioned to provide support to the Bulgarian Ministry of Economics, Energy & Tourism regarding the establishment of an S&T park in Sophia.    This project is managed through the EU Jaspers Programme which provides advice to 12 Central and Eastern EU Member States and Croatia during project preparation to help improve the quality of the major projects to be submitted for grant financing under the Structural and Cohesion Funds.

Development of National BioBank Plan - 16 April 2012

 Dr Jim Ryan of CIRCA supported the Health Research Board in the development of a national policy on Biobanking.   The task of developing a ‘National Biobanking Initiative’ was defined in the Health Research Action Plan published by the Irish Dept of Health and Children.  This task was implemented by a group appointed by the Health Research Board and chaired by the CEO Enda Connolly.   The purpose is to establish the biobank infrastructure required by Irish researchers and enterprise;    to develop an implementation plan and to establish the resource requirement.     A draft plan has been prepared following extensive consultation with all stakeholders,  and consideration of a wide range of operational,  legal and other issues.  The plan will involve the biobank becoming a component of the National Clinical Research Framework, which is being developed in parallel.     

Evaluation of IPAS - 01 March 2012

 CIRCA Group was commissioned by Forfás to conduct an Evaluation of the Intellectual Property Assistance Scheme (IPAS) which was operated by Enterprise Ireland and provided patent advice, and also provided funding for patent submission.  The  scheme consisted of two separate elements:   (a) basic advice for companies and inventors on the patent process  and on the patentability of specific inventions ;  and (b)  funding for  patent submissions from  HE Institutions. The evaluation process involved extensive desk research on the scheme files and process;   focus groups with patent agents, and with HE personnel;    and on-line and telephone surveys with successful and unsuccessful applicants to the scheme.    The CIRCA team for the project  included Jürgen Streicher of the Austrian Institute for SME Research who has extensive international experience in reviewing similar schemes in a variety of countries.  

CIRCA Teams support National Research Prioritisation Exercise - 29 August 2011

During 2011 a national research prioritisation exercise was conducted in Ireland to identify up to 20 target areas on which the Irish Government should focus its allocation of public funding for research and development over the next five years.  A high-level  ‘Research Prioritisation Steering Group’ was appointed to undertake this task.   The Steering Group was asked to focus on ‘areas that will yield the best return for taxpayers' investment in research and ultimately, create high quality jobs’.   The Steering Group established 4 sub-groups to review the opportunities and potential  within different sectors.  Consultants were appointed to support each of these sub-Groups.  CIRCA teams were appointed to support two of these groups:  

  • Brendan Wafer and Pat Lawlor were appointed as consultants to the Process Engineering sub-group,  
  • Jim Ryan and Ena Walsh were appointed to support the sub-group on ‘Health, Ageing and Well-being’.  
The tasks for the CIRCA consultants included the analysis of potential opportunity areas in the context of market opportunity,  current national research strengths,  ability of national enterprise to commercialize research outputs within the areas etc. The tasks also included involvement in consultation with stakeholders on proposed priority areas,  and delivery of detailed research reports.   
Strategic Review of Guinness Enterprise Centre - 16 August 2011

CIRCA has completed a Strategic Review of the Guinness Enterprise Centre on behalf of Diageo and Enterprise Ireland.   The Guinness Enterprise Centre is located close to the Guinness Storehouse off Thomas Street, Dublin and houses 60+ companies in a purpose-built facility of  6,000 square metres which includes four conference rooms, a café and reception area.    The review was commissioned to assess future options for the centre in the light of increasing competition from private rented accommodation in the area, and the general economic downturn.  It included an assessment of the current role of the centre as an incubator space, the need for differentiation from other local enterprise space, and other elements of its operational future.    The project included reviews of current operational activities, on-line surveys of tenants and potential tenants, and extensive consultation with organisations involved in provision of support for start-ups and existing companies in the Dublin region.    The CIRCA team for the project included Prof. John Allen,  who has extensive experience in operation of incubators and science parks and has twice served as chair of the UK Science Parks Association.  


Strategic Research Agenda in neurodegenerative disease research. - 16 March 2011

CIRCA is conducting a project on behalf of the Health Research Board (HRB) and Science Foundation Ireland to assess the scope and nature of Irish research activities of relevance to neurodegenerative disease and to define national priorities in this field.  The overall purpose is to ensure effective Irish participation in a new EU R&D initiative entitled Joint Programming which will involve a coordinated approach to R&D activities in neurodegenerative disease among all EU countries.    The Irish Strategic Research Agenda will pull together the existing national R&D activity within a coordinated national programme which is relevant to the EU-wide activities, but also relevant to national needs and expertise.   

Evaluation of Enterprise Innovation Networks. - 09 February 2011

 CIRCA has completed an interim review of the Enterprise Innovation Networks Programme (EIN) which was launched in May 2008 as one of the programmes designed to achieve the SSTI vision .. ‘to strengthen the RTDI base of the enterprise sector’.   The key elements  defined in the  SSTI  strategy for enhancing enterprise  are:  “i) raising awareness and increasing the number of firms doing R&D, ii) improving soft supports to develop technology strategies in firms, iii) achieving step in¬creases in quality and quantity of R&D activity, iv) building in company technology capability, v) increasing inter-company and industry-HEI collaboration … “.    The Enterprise Innovation Networks (EIN) programme takes advantage of the fact that there are industry organisations already in existence whose objectives are, at least partly, consistent with these goals.  The EIN assists these industry groups to promote and support R&D performance by their member companies.    The study involved consultation with three groups supported by the programme:  Construction Industry Technology Alliance (CITA);   Industry R&D Group;  and the Irish Software Innovation Network (ISIN). 

Environment for performance of R&D by Irish Industry - 05 January 2011

CIRCA supported a national project to examine the critical factors impacting on the environment for research and development (R&D) in both foreign owned and indigenous companies. The enterprise policy system in Ireland recognises that a key determinant of future economic well-being will be success in stimulating business to do more R&D. This study focused on identifying barriers and incentives external to the company that can be addressed through changes in enterprise policy, rather than on internal company barriers to R&D. The overarching objectives of this study were

  • To identify a small number of critically important factors impacting on the environment for R&D; and
  • To identify a small number of sector-specific factors that impact on the environment for R&D; and
  • To formulate actionable recommendations to improve the quantity and quality of R&D amongst companies in Ireland.

The report was published by the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation and is available

Evaluation of Applied Research Enhancement (ARE) Programme. - 15 November 2010
The ARE programme was designed by Enterprise Ireland to create applied research expertise in Institutes of Technology, of which there are 14 in different regions of Ireland.  Enterprise Ireland invested €15million in establishing these applied research centres, beginning in 2001. The review assessed progress in establishing the centres, including the physical infrastructure and staffing, and also evaluated the extent to which the centres had developed contacts with local and national industry.  The study involved:  
  • Visits to 10 centres to assess facilties and staffing arrangements in place
  • Review of R&D activities and their purpose and management
  • Survey of local and national industry to assess extent of contacts with centre, and perception of value.  
Study on Enterprise - University Collaboration. - 11 February 2009

 CIRCA conducted a major study to review the practical research interactions between Higher Education institutions and Industry, and also to identify what actions might assist effective interaction. The overall task was to better understand (a) the specific role of university research in current and future industry R&D activities, and (b) the role of industrial collaboration and interaction within Irish Higher Education institutions (HEI). The study separately assessed the views of Industry and of HEI representatives on issues relating to mutual interaction. The study included: 

  • Consultation with national agencies, university research officers and industry associations. 
  • Focus Groups with industry,  researchers and others  
  • Workshops of industry, agencies and researchers to discuss the issues identified and propose solutions
Research Strategy for the Institutes of Technology in Ireland - 13 January 2009

 The Institute of Technology Sector comprises 14 Institutes which provide a comprehensive range of third-level education from craft/apprentice programmes to Honours Bachelor Degrees. The Institutes also provide a range of postgraduate programmes at Postgraduate Diploma, Masters and Doctoral level. In addition, the Institutes play an important role in providing for recurrent educational needs by way of part-time and evening courses as well as catering for continuing professional education and development of the workforce through innovative partnerships with industry.  They have become increasingly involved in R&D and have shown initiative in developing applied R&D programmes.  The project was to support the process of developing a combined strategy for R&D performance by the sector.  The study involved: 

  • Analysis of R&D activity within the IoT sector and survey of IOT managers regarding their R&D aspirations and issues affecting their performance of R&D. 
  • Focus Groups with researchers within the sector on their attitudes to R&D and their perceptions of current barriers and opportunities
  • Analysis of current administrative and legal issues constraining R&D performance within the sector,  including review of all literature relating to national and IoT research activity and policy
  • Presentation of options for R&D strategies to IoT management
R&D Financing Model for Lithuania - 24 December 2008

 CIRCA conducted a project for the Science Council of Lithuania,  the Ministry of Education and Science, and the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania to prepared a “Feasibility Study on a Programme- and Competition-Based R&D Financing Model”.  Based on the results of  Surveys and Analysis of Foreign Countries’ Experiences, and taking due account of Lithuania’s political, social, cultural, and economic context, the following models were to be created:

  • A  focussed programme and competition-based fundamental scientific research financing model A comprehensive applied scientific research and experimental development financing model 
  • A unified programme- and competition-based R&D financing model,

The project included: 

  • surveys of employees of scientific and higher education institutions and high-tech companies 
  • a detailed analysis of R&D financing models operating in various countries and of models applied in selected countries
  • visits to selected countries to review their approach to similar programmes. 
Biotechnology for Europe Study - 01 August 2007

CIRCA Group was one of the team of consulting organisations which conducted the the ‘Biotechnology for Europe Study (Bio4EU)’. The study was lead by Thomas Reiss of the Fraunhofer Institute and also included VTT (Finland), TNO (Nl), Innogen (UK) and Georgia Tech (USA). The EU has now published the output of this study in a report which is entitled ‘Consequences, Opportunities and Challenges of Modern Biotechnology for Europe’. This is the first comprehensive evaluation of the contribution of modern biotechnology to major European Union policy goals. The study was commissioned by the European Parliament and managed by the IPTS (, an EU institute. The synthesis report is available at The document has already been used to inform the European Commission’s mid-term review of the Biotechnology Strategy.

 read more ...