Research & Development Grants

Research & Development (R&D) grants provide Irish companies access to funding for innovative R&D projects with the aim of driving growth in the business. 

What are R&D Grants? 

R&D grants provide companies the opportunity to access matched funding for an R&D project. As a general guideline the qualifying activity must seek to resolve a technical uncertainty by undertaking research and development. Proposed R&D projects and costs must also be realistic with a clear commercial opportunity with the ultimate aim of creating new business/market lines or exploiting significant growth within the current business market. 

What R&D Grants are available? 

From an Irish context IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland (EI) provide a wide range of assistance to companies, including R&D funding programs. The organisation which a company deals with will depend on whether they have been established in Ireland (EI) or overseas (IDA). For both Irish and International companies, both organisations’ goals are aligned to help companies grow and assist them in gaining market share, particularly in export markets. Funding is also available from EU funding bodies. 

A summary of the grants available through each organisation are outlined below.

Enterprise Ireland:

Innovation Vouchers 

  • Innovation Vouchers worth €5,000 are available to assist all small and medium-sized limited companies registered in Ireland to explore a business opportunity or problem with a registered knowledge provider. 

Exploring Innovation Grant 

  • Used to determine if an idea is feasible by ensuring the project is legal, technically achievable and makes financial sense 
  • Aims to uncover a project's strengths and weaknesses, as well as identify the resources needed 
  • The maximum grant funding available for an Exploring Innovation study is 50% of eligible expenditures to a maximum grant of up to €35,000 

The Agile Innovation Fund 

  • Helps companies in sectors with rapid design cycles keep their advantage by offering an online application and Fast-Track-Approval process 
  • Companies can access up to 50% funding, where the grant requested is < €150k (total project cost < €300k) 
  • The Fund is open to Enterprise Ireland clients and non-Enterprise Ireland clients 

The Research and Development (R&D) Fund 

  • Supports the development of new and/ or improved products, processes and/ or services 
  • Aimed at bigger RD&I projects, requesting > €150k (total project cost > €300k) 

The Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy 

  • Supports companies to develop a strategy to manage and exploit IP coming from an RD&I project. This can include patents, designs, trade secrets, copyright and brands.

IDA Ireland: 

Innovation Vouchers 

  • Innovation Vouchers, totalling €5,000, are available to assist IDA client small multinational companies to collaborate with a registered college or knowledge provider in Ireland and Northern Ireland to explore a business opportunity or solve a technical problem 

RD&I Feasibility Study Grant 

  • This grant can be used to investigate the feasibility of developing a new product, process, technology or service offering 
  • The grant is designed to support exploratory work required to develop and justify longer term and more sustainable RD&I programmes within IDA client companies 
  • It provides grants up to a max of €250,000 or 50% of eligible expenditure. 

RD&I Grant Aid 

  • RD&I Grant Aid is designed to support large and technically ambitious R&D projects 
  • RD&I Grant Aid is available for current and potential IDA clients 
  • The level of funding is dependent on an independent technical assessment and assessment of the strategic and commercial importance of the project.

European Union: 

Horizon 2020 (H2020) 

  • This fund is the largest EU Research and Innovation fund programme available with just over €70 billion of funding committed over 7 years (2014 to 2020) 
  • The H2020 fund focus is on excellence in science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges

For further details on the above grants available for R&D spend and the requirements to be met, contact Heather King or Eddie Darby.

R&D Update

RBK Chartered Accountants and RDP Associates, a leading international R&D tax credit consultancy, invite you to attend our R&D Tax Credits & Grants update on 26th February 2020.

For further details and to register, visit: