Irish companies forecast to spend nearly €2.3bn on R&D this year

New figures show foreign-owned enterprises account for two-thirds of R&D expenditure

This year, Irish businesses are forecast to spend€ 2.09 billion on current expenditure and a further €202 million on capital expenditure

This year, Irish businesses are forecast to spend€ 2.09 billion on current expenditure and a further €202 million on capital expenditure

 

Irish businesses are expected to spend almost €2.3 billion on research and development (R&D) activities this year, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

New figures published on Thursday show enterprises spend in excess of €2.2 billion in 2015, up by 15 per cent versus 2013.

Irish-owned enterprises reported an increase in R&D spend of €107 million from €703m in 2013 to €810m in 2015. However, two-thirds of R&D expenditure continued to be as a result of spending by foreign-owned enterprises in 2015, the data shows.

Current expenditure, which comprises labour and other current costs, accounted for 93 per cent or €2.07 billion of all R&D expenditure in 2015, with capital expenditure accounting for the remaining 7 per cent or €157 million of spend.

This year, Irish businesses are forecast to spend€ 2.09 billion on current expenditure and a further €202 million on capital expenditure.

Enterprises that employ 250 persons or more had the greatest share of R&D expenditure in 2015 with 55 per cent of the total spend. Smaller companies with less than 50 staff spent almost €502m on R&D in 2015 which accounted for over 22 per cent of the spend. Medium sized enterprises employing between 50 and 249 peoples spent just over €503m in the same period, equivalent to 23 per cent of total spend.

In 2015, enterprises reported that over €1.3billion was spent on labour costs, which accounted for 61 per cent of all R&D expenditure. Other costs, such as materials and equipment, had a spend of nearly €726 million.

R&D spending was highest in the services sector, accounting for 61 per cent or nearly €1.4 billion of all expenditure in 2015. The manufacturing sector spent over €876 million on R&D during the same period.