Specialist R&D Tax & Grant Funding Advisors

Everything You Need to Know About the RD&I Fund

Both the IDA (Industrial Development Authority) and EI (Enterprise Ireland) offer a broad mix of financial assistance to companies, including RD&I funding schemes.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


5 minute read

Both the IDA (Industrial Development Authority) and EI (Enterprise Ireland) offer a broad mix of financial assistance to companies, including RD&I funding schemes. The body that is most appropriate for a company to work with depends mainly on whether they are home grown (EI) or from overseas (IDA). However, for both Irish clients and international ones, the remit is the same: to facilitate company growth and help them to gain market share, in export markets particularly.

What is the RD&I Fund?

The RD&I Fund was set up to support the development of new products, processes or services (or to substantially improve existing ones) which then means a company gains a competitive edge within its target market.

The key point to note is that the development must:

  • Involve working towards the resolution of a specific technical challenge
  • Be non-routine, i.e not easily solvable by a professional working in the field
  • Move the company forward in terms of its R&D (research and development) capabilities

Enterprise Ireland funding is available to companies as long as they have provided an agreed plan for business growth. This is where Myriad Associates will help, by discussing your project with you and seeing how Enterprise Ireland can give you the financial boost you need. We will then assist you in putting together your application in order to receive your funding successfully.

What are the current Grant Rates?

The amount of grant a company will receive depends on its size and whether it has collaborated with others. Grant support is offered for projects between €300,000 and €3 million.

The current rates are below:

  • Small companies: 45% project funding
  • Medium companies: 35% of project funding
  • Large companies: 25% of project funding

Which companies are eligible?

Enterprise Ireland’s RD&I fund supports any innovative Irish company that is looking to develop brand new products and services or improve existing ones. It’s all about growth, and focuses on export potential as well as how a company can increase its market share. The ultimate goal is to create and maintain jobs, which in turn strengthens the economy and swells the government’s tax coffers. Good quality R&D by nature relies on human endeavour and problem solving, with new knowledge being an important by-product of this. Very often it’s this enhanced knowledge that gives an advantage for a company over its competitors in the market. It’s clear to see how this element of competition gives rise to positive reinforcement, further R&D, additional new product creation and so on. The cycle continues, contributing all the time to a high-value economic model based on a culture of successful R&D.

Once a company has approached EI it will be assigned a Development Advisor (an EI employee who is there to assist as an “account manager”). They can help with specific aspects of your project assessment as well as the application process in general. In general, as long as R&D work has been carried out by competent professionals in their field, and some technical or scientific challenge has been addressed, then the company is likely to qualify.

Companies looking to obtain RD&I funding must be Irish, manufacturing or internationally-traded service organisations. Importantly, it must be demonstrated that companies have the financial capability to deliver on their R&D plans. Companies must also have a positive Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA). It’s also worth noting that the maximum amount of funding available for any project is €650,000.

More about IDA

Ireland has always been very clear on its strategy for attracting foreign investment, and IDA has spearheaded this strategy for more than five decades. IDA began life in 1949 and is now one of the leading FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) development agencies in the world. Its current goals are very R&D-focused, directed towards attracting investors from many diverse industry sectors who are seeking the best location for global business services, advanced manufacturing and major R&D projects.

RD&I funding from IDA is all about ensuring that Ireland maintains its outstanding position on for R&D activities and high-value jobs on the world stage. The eligibility criteria for IDA RD&I grant support is not hugely different from those of Enterprise Ireland. However, the numbers are often higher for bigger projects, with companies qualifying for RD&I funding from IDA being required to increase their international R&D competitiveness within their existing corporate structure. This then means winning further R&D projects for their operations in Ireland, generating more jobs and positive economic growth. It is however expected that organisations having benefitted from funding will create and maintain a significant R&D budget to show support to the continued development of their Irish operations. Companies must also demonstrate a clear connection between their R&D activities and commercial outputs, have established a highly skilled R&D team, and have formed a robust system for R&D quality management. It’s all about developing a culture of innovative thinking across the organisation, which looks to harness the creativity of all its employees towards distinct business aims.

How are final grant amounts decided?

The final amount of grant aid awarded will be negotiated between the company and the IDA. A large amount of weighting will be given regarding the technical challenges a project is looking to resolve in particular. This, in combination with projected employment growth and total economic value to the both the business and to Ireland as a whole, will determine what funding is given.

The current maximum rates are quoted at 25% for experimental development and 40% for industrial research, although effective negotiation is essential in obtaining a high-value grant for exceptional quality RD&I activities. This is why excellent preparation is so important.

How can Myriad Associates help?

Based in Dublin, Myriad Associates consists of a highly skilled team of advisors and R&D tax specialists who are experts in their field. Whether you’re a new start-up looking for funding options to grow, or you’ve been established for some time and looking to finance a specific R&D project, why not get in touch with our professional team now on +353 1 566 2001 or use our contact page.

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