Annual investment by Government in R&D tops €1bn for first time

‘We must continue to give R&D funding sufficient priority to ensure Ireland remains a strong innovation leader,’ say Simon Harris

Government investment in research and development (R&D) topped €1 billion for 2023, its highest figure ever, according to Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris.

The Government’s R&D investment last year is estimated at €1,075m, an increase of 11.6 per cent from 2022, the 2022-2023 R&D Budget Survey confirms.

Mr Harris’s department was responsible for the largest proportion of Government R&D investment in 2022 with €514 million, which was 53 per cent of total expenditure. This was followed by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with €228 million (24 per cent); the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with €97 million (10 per cent), the Department of Health with €57 million (6 per cent) and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications with €28.9 million (3 per cent).

Gross expenditure on R&D across all sectors of the economy is estimated at €4,874 million for 2022. The highest expenditure continues to be within the business sector, which accounted for an estimated €3,887 million.


Mr Harris added: “I am delighted to see the increase in investment in 2023 given the competing demands and, as recognised in Impact 2030 [strategy document], continuing pressure on public finances ... we must continue to give R&D funding sufficient priority to ensure Ireland remains a strong innovation leader. 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.”

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Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan is Environment and Science Editor and former editor of The Irish Times