Peter Casey, Independent
European parliamentary candidate Peter Casey is calling for the establishment of an EU-funded 'Special Region of Innovation' along the Irish border.
The independent candidate for the Midlands-North-West constituency, says the border counties should benefit from a special EU funding package to facilitate technology research and innovation.
Mr Casey said the region can benefit from increased money from Europe to fuel indigenous business growth.
"There will be a funding pot of almost €100 billion available in the Horizon Europe 2021-2027 programme and the Midlands-North-West can reap tremendous benefit from it.
"In particular, I will be fighting for Special Region of Innovation status for our border counties. This will deliver focussed funding for SMEs involved in research and innovation projects.
"Our border region from Louth to Donegal has suffered from decades of underdevelopment but there is great opportunity to create something special here. With the right approach, our border areas can enjoy an injection of EU funding which will create an innovation corridor that drives regional prosperity.
"Our entrepreneurs are leading the way in innovation and the provision of strong additional supports will ensure a strong, sustainable and competitive regional economy. The EU is prioritising investment in innovation and it is important that rural Ireland’s border region taps into this development opportunity.
"Brexit will make our border area the most peripheral border region in the EU. Our border counties deserve much more from the EU Budget and our expertise in innovation and technology makes strong case for achieving that. Placing special status designation at the heart of a strong regional development policy, can open new doors for business prosperity in the entire region," he said.