News & Events

Government allocated €869.2m to Research & Development in 2020 - Tánaiste

8.4% increase in previous year

The Tánaiste and Minister for Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, has today (Wednesday, 20 January) published the latest figures on Government investment in Research and Development (R&D) for 2019 and estimated figures for 2020.

The Tánaiste said:

“These results show that Government allocated €869.2m to Research and Development last year, a 8.4% increase in investment on the previous year.

 “R&D is a really important driver of competitiveness, productivity and economic growth. We invest now and reap the rewards in terms of jobs and new technology in the future.

 “This investment went towards finding solutions to problems facing business; creating the jobs of the future; testing new technologies and making Ireland a global innovation leader. We will continue to give R&D funding priority in years to come."

 Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, said:

 “Investing in Research and Innovation is critical for the economy, our people and our future.

 “We have made progress in the last two years, but we know we must do more.  Ireland can become a global innovation leader. The new Department will drive this agenda and will ensure research and innovation is at the centre of our economy recovery.”

The data is published in a report named: The Research and Development Budget 2019-2020. The publication is compiled from a comprehensive survey of thirty Government Departments and Agencies.

Government spend on R&D was €802.2m in 2019 an increase of 4.8% in expenditure over the previous year. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and its Agencies (Science Foundation Ireland, InterTrade Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland) were responsible for over half (50.9%) of all Government R&D investment in 2019 at €408.4m. It is estimated to have increased in 2020 by a further 8.4% with allocated funding of €869.2m.

The report provides details of Government funded research programs and highlights the extent and variety of R&D being carried out in the country.

In addition, the report brings together the latest data on business, higher education and government agencies’ spending on R&D in Ireland. In 2019, Gross Expenditure on R&D (GERD) across all sectors of the economy was €4.027 billion. The highest expenditure on R&D continues to be within the business sector, which accounted for an estimate €2.910 billion or 72.5% of total GERD.

Following a Government decision to transfer certain research and innovation functions, the Research and Development Budget 2019-2020 Survey will be undertaken by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science from 2021 onwards.


Notes for Editors The Report on The Research and Development Budget is available at: The R&D Budget 2019-2020