Continued growth in Business Expenditure on R&D in Ireland

Seán Sherlock, T.D., Minister for Research & Innovation, today (Monday) has welcomed publication of the BERD Survey results for 2011/2012. The BERD Survey, conducted every two years since 2007/2008, provides final business R&D expenditure figures for 2011 and preliminary estimates for 2012 and is jointly conducted by the Central Statistics Office and Forfás. · The survey shows that enterprises across all business sectors spent some €1.9bn on research and development activities in Ireland in 2011, an increase on the €1.83bn spent in 2010. This is estimated to have risen to almost €2bn in 2012. · R&D activity levels in the number of firms performing significant R&D (>€2mn), show a strong increase of almost 17%, rising to 154 significant R&D performers in 2011 from 132 in 2009. · The preliminary estimates for 2012 indicate that Irish companies had an R&D outlay of around €580m, similar to that in 2010. Foreign-owned enterprises recorded an increase in R&D expenditure – from €1.2bn in 2010 to €1.35bn in 2011, and this is expected to increase further to around €1.45bn in 2012. · There were almost 1,600 enterprises engaged in research and development activities in Ireland in 2011, up an impressive 23% from the 1,300 engaged in R&D in 2009. · The number of research personnel engaged in R&D activities across the business sector rose by an encouraging 20% from 15,800 in 2009 to 19,000 in 2011. Commenting on the survey results, the Minister said: “It is hugely encouraging that levels of investment by business in R&D are being maintained at such a high level in the current economic climate. The Government accords strategic investment in R&D as one of the building blocks for reinvigorating the economy. The continuing development of Ireland as a location for the performance of world class R&D is crucial, as this will allow businesses to build a competitive advantage that will result in jobs and growth. I am encouraged by the fact that our indigenous companies are continuing to seek new ways to innovate and that an ever increasing number of multinationals see Ireland as a location of choice for their Research and Development activities. “In the last year, the Government has reaffirmed its commitment to R&D, and following the publication of the Research Prioritisation Report last March, we have made good progress in recalibrating our R&D strategy to ensure that the best possible economic benefit is derived from our considerable investment in this area. We are also implementing a range of measures to improve commercialisation of research, and to strengthen linkages between the higher education sector and enterprise.” Minister Sherlock added:“The backdrop to this survey is that Ireland has significantly increased its investment in R&D over the past decade. Two thirds of Ireland’s R&D is in the private sector, creating new product and service innovations that will drive exports, growth, and jobs. The evidence from the BERD survey shows that confidence is returning, as enterprises continue to increase their investment in R&D, leading to increased export growth and job creation.”

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