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Cultivating Innovation: R&D Tax Credits for Agri-Tech Companies in Ireland

Embrace the power of R&D Tax Credits and fuel innovation in your Agri-Tech business in Ireland. This blog helps you navigate the intricacies of these credits, highlighting eligibility, application process, and how they can propel your Agri-Tech advancements.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


10 minute read

Welcome to "Cultivating Innovation: R&D Tax Credits for Agri-Tech Companies in Ireland." In this blog post, we will be exploring how Research and Development (R&D) tax credits can revolutionise the Agri-Tech sector by facilitating scientific and technological advancements.

Firstly, let's consider what R&D tax credits are. Essentially, these are incentives provided by the government to encourage businesses to invest in R&D activities. In Ireland, businesses can receive up to a 25% tax credit on qualifying R&D expenditure, in addition to the standard deduction. This credit can reduce or eliminate a company's tax liability, and any unused credits can be carried forward to future years.

The Agri-Tech industry is highly competitive, and companies are constantly seeking innovative ways to drive productivity and yield. By claiming R&D tax credits, these companies can reinvest the money saved into their R&D departments, thus stimulating innovation. Furthermore, the implementation of new technologies and techniques can enhance sustainability, food quality, and safety, making it more attractive to consumers.

The relevance of R&D tax credits in the Agri-Tech industry cannot be understated. In 2021, agriculture contributed around 1.02 percent to the GDP of Ireland, and the sector is growing thanks, in part, to advancements in technology. By providing financial support for R&D activities, the government is helping businesses in this sector to enhance their competitiveness and improve the sustainability of Irish agriculture.

R&D tax credits are a pivotal tool that can help propel Agri-Tech companies forward by supporting the research and development of innovative farming techniques and technologies. In the subsequent sections, we will dive deeper into the specifics of R&D tax credits and explain how they work in relation to the Agri-Tech sector.

What is Agri-Tech?

Agri-Tech refers to a range of technologies used in the agricultural industry to improve efficiency, sustainability, and profitability. From precision farming and remote monitoring to biotechnology and data analytics, Agri-Tech has emerged as a vital innovation driving growth and transformation in the agriculture sector. The importance of Agri-Tech cannot be overstated as it plays a crucial role in addressing the challenges faced by agriculture such as climate change, resource management, and increasing demand for food.

Many Agri-Tech companies in Ireland have leveraged innovation to develop advanced farming techniques that allow for more efficient use of resources while reducing environmental impact. For example, companies are using precision agriculture to collect data on soil quality, moisture levels, and crop growth patterns to optimise irrigation, fertilisation, and yield. Advanced biotechnology is also used to develop crop variants that can resist diseases and pests, thereby reducing the need for harmful pesticides. Moreover, drone technology has proven instrumental in monitoring and mapping fields, improving inventory management, and even planting crops.

Agri-Tech advancements have not only improved farming practices but also introduced a new wave of digital solutions that farmers can leverage to remain competitive. From mobile applications, seed identification software to weather forecasting models and farm management software, Agri-Tech is constantly evolving, and companies must continue to innovate to stay ahead. In conclusion, Agri-Tech is an essential tool for farmers and the wider agriculture sector in their quest to meet the global demand for food while maintaining environmental sustainability. Thanks to ongoing innovation, we can continue to cultivate our lands productively for generations to come.

R&D Tax Credits in the Agri-Tech Sector

When it comes to the Agri-Tech sector, R&D activities can take on numerous forms. In general, any activities that seek to advance understanding in areas related to agriculture and technology while resolving technical uncertainties and challenges may qualify for R&D tax credits. This may cover the development or improvement of crops, livestock, food processing, or machinery and equipment. More specifically, such activities may involve examining the impact of new crop or soil-tilling methods, investigating novel seed development using non-conventional means, creating new hybrid varieties of crops, or developing IoT sensors to detect soil quality or irrigation levels.

In Ireland, R&D tax credits offer companies a chance to earn up to 25% of their R&D costs back and can be used to offset corporation tax or, for loss-making companies, receive a cash refund. However, to qualify for R&D tax credits, businesses must meet specific criteria set in place by the Revenue Commissioners. For instance, the R&D project must be undertaken in Ireland; it must demonstrate scientific or technological advancement and uncertainties that R&D activities must resolve. Further, the R&D activities must have failed in the absence of scientific or technological uncertainty, and the project must have been recorded in detail to demonstrate its technical challenge.

Qualifying costs under the R&D tax credit scheme range from salaries, materials, and software costs to leased or purchased equipment of specific types used exclusively for R&D. It is vital that Agri-Tech businesses keep an accurate cost register of R&D activities to provide detailed information at the time of filing tax returns.

The Agri-Tech industry is a prime area for R&D tax credit claims and presents a viable option for companies seeking to expand the potential of their products and services. Creating a clear plan for R&D activities and keeping an accurate cost register has never been more critical for companies in Agri-Tech. As a reliable and trustworthy specialist, we can guide Agri-Tech businesses in the application and collection of these crucial tax credits, helping them to establish a competitive edge in the market while saving considerable costs.

The Impact of R&D Tax Credits on Agri-Tech Companies

The significant financial benefits of claiming R&D tax credits can have a transformative impact on a company's financial health, particularly for Agri-Tech businesses. R&D activities are costly, with many companies investing significant time and resources into research and development, so these tax credits can provide a much-needed boost to their profitability. By claiming R&D tax credits, businesses can enjoy a reduction in their tax bill, direct reimbursement for eligible R&D expenses, or even a cash payment in some cases, which can be reinvested back into the company. Furthermore, these credits can significantly improve a company's cash flow and provide a competitive advantage as they are free to allocate these funds to other areas of their business.

Real-life examples and case studies highlight the transformative impact R&D tax credits have on Agri-Tech businesses. For instance, an Irish farming company invested in a prototype of an autonomous vehicle for harvesting crops and claimed R&D tax credits for the eligible expenses incurred during the development. They were subsequently reimbursed for a large portion of their expenses, which enabled them to invest further in R&D. Moreover, they were able to achieve higher yields in terms of crop production using the autonomous vehicle, resulting in considerable cost savings, and ultimately helped to reinforce their position in the market. Another example is of a plant genetics company that claimed R&D tax credits for the development of new crop varieties with higher nutritional values, better yield, and sustainability credentials. As a result, they were able to allocate some of the funds back into R&D and marketing, which further enhanced their offerings and increased comparative advantage.

In conclusion, Agri-Tech companies can significantly benefit from R&D tax credits, providing them the financial space and relief to invest in innovation and advancement, thereby positioning themselves as leaders in the industry. The real-life examples demonstrate how claiming R&D tax credits positively impacted Agri-Tech businesses, showing how it's not just a theoretical idea but a concrete reality that can have a tangible effect on a company's success.

Misconceptions about R&D Tax Credits in Agri-Tech

There are several misconceptions surrounding R&D tax credits within the Agri-Tech industry. One of the most common is the belief that only large enterprises are eligible for these credits. However, this is far from the truth. Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are also eligible for R&D tax credits, and in many cases, they can receive more substantial benefits.

Another misconception is that R&D must result in a groundbreaking discovery or technological advancement to be eligible for tax credits. While these breakthroughs are certainly valuable and commendable, they are not the only activities that qualify for R&D tax credits. Activities that qualify as R&D can include exploring new farming techniques, developing new crop variants, or even adapting existing agri-tech innovations to suit specific environments or conditions.

Furthermore, many Agri-Tech companies assume that claiming R&D tax credits will be a lengthy and complicated process, which discourages them from exploring this option. However, claiming these credits is a relatively simple process, provided a company is aware of what activities constitute R&D within their business. Once this is identified, the process can be streamlined and straightforward.

Clarifying who is eligible for these credits is also crucial. To qualify, a company must be a tax-paying entity in Ireland, engaged in activities that promote scientific and technological advancements. These activities must also be carried out by the company or contracted workers, with all associated costs accounted for.

There are several common misconceptions surrounding R&D tax credits in Agri-Tech. By debunking these myths and clarifying eligibility criteria, we can empower Agri-Tech businesses to explore this vital financial incentive, encouraging innovation and driving growth within this critical industry.

Identifying Eligible R&D Activities in Agri-Tech

Identifying eligible R&D activities is a critical first step in claiming R&D tax credits for your Agri-Tech business. These activities can often be difficult to spot, so a comprehensive guide is necessary to ensure that you don't overlook any potential credits. The following are some examples of R&D activities in Agri-Tech:

Developing new crop variants: Crop development is a key area of R&D in the Agri-Tech industry. Innovative technologies like precision agriculture and genetic sequencing are lending themselves to faster crop breeding and gene editing, allowing for the creation of new, hardier, and more profitable crops.

Developing new fertilisers: Soil and nutrient analysis, along with fertiliser development, represent significant opportunities for R&D tax credits. The creation of new, more efficient fertilisers not only drives innovation within the sector but also has a positive impact on the environment.

Development of automated farming technology: Automation of farm activities, including harvesting, seeding, and fertilisation, is another key area of R&D. This technology not only improves the efficiency and accuracy of farming processes but also reduces labor costs and drives profitability.

While the above examples are only some of the many R&D activities eligible for tax credits, some Agri-Tech-specific activities are often overlooked. For example, the use of drones for crop mapping and monitoring, the development of sustainable agricultural practices, and the creation of software for mapping and analysis of crop data are all potential areas of R&D. Identifying and documenting these activities is vital to ensure that you are claiming the full extent of R&D tax credits available to your business.

In conclusion, identifying eligible R&D activities is a crucial aspect of claiming tax credits in the Agri-Tech industry. By knowing what activities constitute R&D and ensuring that they are correctly documented, businesses can maximise their financial incentives and drive innovation and growth within the sector.

How to Claim R&D Tax Credits in the Agri-Tech Industry

Claiming R&D tax credits can seem like a daunting task, especially for Agri-Tech businesses who may be unfamiliar with this scheme. However, with the right guidance and support, claiming R&D tax credits can be a straightforward process. To claim these credits, businesses must provide evidence of eligible R&D activities and expenses, such as the costs of staff, materials, and equipment used directly in R&D.

To begin, Agri-Tech businesses must identify eligible R&D activities and expenses. This may require a clear understanding of what constitutes R&D in the context of the Agri-Tech industry. For instance, eligible R&D activities in this sector may include the development of new crop varieties, soil analysis, and the use of precision farming technologies. Once these activities have been identified, it is essential to keep detailed records of all relevant expenses, including direct staff costs, overhead expenses, subcontractor work, and consumable and equipment costs.

To claim R&D tax credits, Agri-Tech businesses should prepare a comprehensive report that outlines all eligible R&D activities and costs. This report should highlight the nature of the R&D activities, the challenges encountered, and how these challenges were overcome. It must also demonstrate the link between the R&D activities and the relevant tax credit claim.

Finally, the report and relevant financial statements should be submitted to Revenue. The claim will be reviewed before a decision is made, and if approved, the tax credit will be awarded. In the case of SMEs, a refundable tax credit of up to 25% can be claimed, while larger companies can claim a credit of up to 12.5%.

In summary, claiming R&D tax credits in the Agri-Tech industry requires a deep understanding of eligible R&D activities and expenses, meticulous record-keeping, and a detailed report that demonstrates the link between R&D activities, the resulting innovation, and the relevant tax credit claim. This process may seem complex, but with the right guidance and support, businesses in this sector can successfully claim R&D tax credits, driving innovation and growth in the Agri-Tech industry.


In conclusion, R&D tax credits are a game-changer for Agri-Tech companies in Ireland. These tax credits provide a significant financial incentive for businesses to invest in innovation and drive growth in the industry. By utilising our services, Agri-Tech companies can maximise the benefits of these tax credits and further advance the sector through cutting-edge research and development.

At our company, we are committed to supporting the Agri-Tech industry by providing expert guidance on identifying R&D activities within their business and claiming the maximum allowable tax credits. The case studies and real-life examples provided in this blog post demonstrate the tremendous impact that R&D tax credits can have on an Agri-Tech business, and we want to make sure that every company in the industry can take advantage of this opportunity.

So, to our readers in the Agri-Tech industry, we encourage you to take action today and explore how R&D tax credits can benefit your business. With our assistance, you can navigate the complexities of the R&D tax credit system and ensure that you are receiving all the financial support available to you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comprehensive guide, and we look forward to working with you in the future to drive growth and innovation in Ireland's Agri-Tech industry.

How Myriad Associates will work with you

Claiming R&D Tax Credits isn’t easy and there are many grey areas. But our team of R&D tax advisors and specialists can work alongside you in constructing a high quality, accurate claim that stands up to Revenue interrogation.

As long as a technological or scientific uncertainty is being addressed in the course of your project, which involves taking a financial risk, then R&D Tax Credits are likely to follow. Firstly, we can help you identify all the costs which are relevant, and to apportion them correctly. We can then put together a detailed, competent technical narrative, and work on your behalf with Revenue too.

Why not have a look at our R&D Tax Credits page for more information about how this highly valuable tax incentive could benefit your Agri- Tech company. Then when you’re ready to make a claim, simply drop us a message or call +353 1 566 2001 to get the process started.

You could well end up many thousands of euros better off.

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