Ireland has secured the Research and Innovation portfolio in the new European Commission.

Irish nominee Máire Geoghegan Quinn is to be allocated the portfolio by Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

The Taoiseach made the announcement in a statement this morning.

Brian Cowen said: 'In putting forward Máire Geoghegan Quinn as Ireland's nominee for the new Commission, I felt that a candidate of very strong credentials and experience would help us to get a substantial portfolio in the new Commission.

'I am delighted to announce today that we have secured the hugely important Research and Innovation portfolio, which resonates very strongly with our own Smart Economy agenda.

'It is testament to the calibre of Máire Geoghegan Quinn that she has been allocated this portfolio.'

The portfolio includes the European Union's important Research Framework Programme, which has a budget of in excess of €50bn over seven years (2007 - 2013).

The EU research agenda spans a wide range of areas, including Information and Communication Technology and Science, but also extending to other crucial policy areas such as climate change, energy efficiency, health and food security.

Responsibilities of the Commissioners-designate

Joaquín Almunia: Competition. Vice-President of the Commission.

László Andor: Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

Catherine Ashton: High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security and Vice-President of the Commission.

Michel Barnier: Internal Market and Services.

Dacian Ciolos: Agriculture and Rural Development.

John Dalli: Health and Consumer Policy.

Maria Damanki: Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Karel De Gucht: Trade.

Štefan Fule: Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy.

Johannes Hahn: Regional Policy.

Connie Hedegaard: Climate Action.

Maire Geoghegan-Quinn: Research and Innovation.

Rumiana Jeleva: International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

Siim Kallas: Transport. Vice-President of the Commission.

Neelie Kroes: Digital Agenda. Vice-President of the Commission.

Janusz Lewandowski: Budget and Financial Programming.

Cecilia Malmstrom: Home Affairs.

Günter Oettinger: Energy.

Andris Piebalgs: Development.

Janez Potocnik: Environment.

Viviane Reding: Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. Vice-President of the Commission.

Olli Rehn: Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Maroš Šefcovic: Vice-President of the Commission for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration.

Algirdas Šemeta: Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud.

Antonio Tajani: Industry and Entrepreneurship. Vice-President of the Commission.

Androulla Vassiliou: Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.