Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has welcomed the publication of a report which shows record levels of Government spending on research and development (R&D) in Ireland.
The Research and Development Budget 2022-2023 shows that the Government’s investment in R&D (GBARD) was €963.7m in 2022 and is estimated to reach €1,075m in 2023, the first time it will surpass the one billion euro mark.
This will be an increase of 11.6% from 2022.
The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science was responsible for the largest proportion of Government investment in R&D in 2022 with €514.2m or 53% of total expenditure. This was followed by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with €227.7m (24%), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with €96.6m (10%), the Department of Health with 56.7m (6%) and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications with 28.9m (3%).
Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “I am delighted to see the increase in investment in 2023 given the competing demands and, as recognised in Impact 2030, continuing pressure on public finances.
“This positive momentum must be maintained and as recognised in Impact 2030, we must continue to give R&D funding sufficient priority to ensure Ireland remains a strong innovation leader.
“Research and Development are key drivers of competitiveness, productivity, and economic growth. Ireland’s future economic growth and prosperity will depend in large measure on our continued investment in R&D.
“This State investment is all about developing a competitive, knowledge-based economy and society, driving innovation in enterprise, building human capital and maximising the return on R&D investment for economic and social progress.”
The report also contains the latest data on business, higher education and Government Agencies’ spending on R&D in Ireland. In 2022, Gross Expenditure on R&D (GERD) across all sectors of the economy was estimated at €4,874 million. The highest expenditure on R&D continues to be within the business sector, which accounted for an estimated €3,887 million or over 80% of total GERD.
Finally, this year’s survey contains a chapter on Research Classification Ireland (RCI) – Ireland’s new research classification system which was announced by Minister Harris in July 2023. Departments and Agencies are committed to embedding the RCI into their internal processes in the coming years which will improve its coverage.
Minister Harris added: “I am also pleased to see that RCI is being used by the Departments and their Agencies. This research classification system was specially adapted for Ireland and will help strengthen ties between government departments and the public research system and play a greater role in policy formation.”