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Is The World On The Brink Of Another Industrial Revolution?

The world is now moving into what appears to be the Fourth Revolution. Vastly different from the three industrial revolutions that have preceded it this new revolution strikes at the very heart of what it is to be human

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


5 minute read

What exactly is the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how has it affected our lives already?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is concerned with how the physical, biological and digital worlds coexist. It’s a coming together of advances in artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, genetic engineering, quantum computing, 3D printing and several other technologies. The way these elements relate to each other and work together are quickly becoming vital to the way we live our lives. Just think how far things have come in the last 10-15 years alone, with social media, virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri, and even personalised Netflix recommendations.

It’s these amazing advances in technology, and the speed that they’ve occurred, that has given rise to some exciting - and sometimes disruptive - changes in the business world too.

What are the technologies pushing forward such change?

There are some notable advances in certain areas of technology which are bringing on the Fourth Industrial Revolution at pace. These include:


Biotechnology revolves around the use of living organisms which are used to make products and chemicals needed for an industrial task. It’s used in a huge variety of industries and sectors, including medicine, food science, environmental sciences and farming.

Smarter computers

Computers and the technologies inside them are becoming smaller, faster and more powerful. They can process information faster than ever before, and in vast amounts, and new Cloud technology has made storing information easier and safer too. Technological advancements in quantum computing are also taking place that will eventually make computers thousands of times more powerful than they are today. Going forward, these computers will bring untold benefits in the creation of extremely complex data models, and will allow huge advances in the production of a huge range of materials. 

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI concerns technology that enables computers to act and “think” like human beings. Such highly attuned robots are able to process information, recognise complex patterns, make conclusions and offer recommendations. The uses for such technology are also vast and extremely varied, from the mundane like powering an app on your phone, to spotting patterns in massive piles of unstructured data.


In simple terms, a blockchain is a time-stamped series of data records managed by a number of computers that don’t belong to any specific entity. Each of these “blocks” of data is secured and bound to each other using cryptographic formulae (called a “chain”). The blockchain network is completely decentralised with no absolute authority. It’s a shared and unchanging ledger, with the information contained available for anyone to access. It’s highly transparent, and used primarily in cryptocurrency.

Virtual reality (VR)

VR provides an immersive digital experience, using a VR headset. It simulates the real world, whilst augmented reality (AR) merges the real world with the digital one (think Pokemon Go). Examples of AR include the Google Translate phone app (which scans road signs and other text into English when you hold your phone up), and cosmetic apps that allow you to digitally experiment with products before purchasing.


Robotics is all about the development, manufacture, and use of robots for commercial and personal use. Of course, we’re not quite at the stage where robots are running the home for us and picking up the kids from school, but over time they have become increasingly sophisticated and complex. They are currently used in everything from health and safety to human assistance and manufacturing.

3D printing

3D printing means that manufacturing companies can print their own parts. This brings about a requirement for less tools, bringing with it a lower cost and faster processes. It also allows for easier, more efficient customisation.

Is there any financial assistance for innovative companies in Ireland?

Yes, absolutely. But as R&D tax credit experts based here in Dublin, the one we’ve been pushing most is R&D Tax Credits.

What are they?

The R&D Tax Credits scheme allows Irish companies to claim back some of their R&D expenditure by receiving a reduction in their Corporation Tax. The credit is calculated at 25% of eligible expenditure and is used to reduce the Corporation Tax bill a company must pay. Companies making a loss can receive the relief as cash.

Which companies are likely to qualify?

An organisation is likely to be eligible for R&D Tax Credits if:

  • It pays Corporation Tax in the Republic of Ireland
  • It is not eligible to receive a tax deduction in any other country
  • It undergoes eligible R&D work in Ireland or the European Economic Area (EEA)

What activities will qualify for R&D Tax Credits?

To qualify for the R&D Tax Credit, a company’s research and development work must:

  • Involve systemic, experimental and investigative activities
  • Involve an element of financial risk, where the outcome is uncertain
  • Make a scientific or technological advancement
  • Involve basic or applied research
  • Not be easily solvable by a competent professional in the field

How to claim the R&D Tax Credit

The company must ensure that it meets all the criteria laid out by the Revenue before making an application. The deadline for claims is 12 months from the end of the accounting period in which the R&D costs were incurred.

More information can be found on the R&D Tax Credits page of our website.

How Myriad Associates can help

With offices in both Dublin and in the UK, Myriad Associates is made up of an expert team of R&D specialists and accountants with 20 years of experience in this very niche tax area. We can work with you in putting together a high quality, successful application so you receive the benefit you’re entitled to.

It’s incredibly easy to make a mistake when applying for R&D Tax Credits. At best you could miss out on thousands of euros, and at worst you could end up with a tax investigation courtesy of the Revenue. Why take the risk when we can work alongside you and ensure you claim all your costs and avoid any issues with Revenue?

Call our friendly team today on +353 1 566 2001 or use our contact page today.

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