The European Union's new multi-billion euro research and innovation plan has been voted through by MEPs in Strasbourg..

EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said Ireland's aim of securing €1 billion from Horizon 2020 is an "ambitious but achievable target".

Since 2007, Ireland has secured more than €500m from the EU's existing research and innovation programme - €100m of which went to small and medium sized enterprises.

The new programme, which runs from next year until 2020, amounts to nearly €80bn - a 30% increase on the previous plan.

Ms Geoghegan-Quinn said if MEPs pass the plan it will support more innovative ideas, businesses and jobs.

Irish universities, businesses and researchers will be able to find out more about commercial opportunities through Horizon 2020 at an event in Dublin scheduled for 10 December.