Your trusted adviser for R&D Tax Credits and R&D Grants

Everything you need to know about the RD&I fund

The RD&I fund is specifically targeted towards companies of all sizes that develop new or substantially improved products, services or processes. With thousands of euros in grants up for grabs, could your company benefit?

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


10 minute read

Ireland is well-known for supporting innovation, both home-grown and to attract foreign investment. Over the years, the government has therefore launched a huge range of generous financial incentives, such as R&D Tax Credits and R&D grants. In fact, recent statistics show government spend on R&D in Ireland stood at an impressive €866.8 million in 2020, an increase of 8.1% over the previous year. The pandemic seems to have done little to dampen this appetite.

Both the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and Enterprise Ireland (EI) offer a broad mix of financial assistance to companies, including RD&I funding schemes. The one that best matches a company depends mainly on whether they are home grown (EI) or from overseas (IDA).

The RD&I fund is specifically targeted towards companies of all sizes that develop new or substantially improved products, services or processes. The idea is that Irish companies achieve a competitive advantage on the world stage as leaders in their field.

What projects are eligible for RD&I funding?

Any company in Ireland can be eligible for RD&I funding, as long as it has put together a detailed plan for business growth. This is where the Myriad Associates team can help, by discussing your project with you and identifying the best financial options. We will then work with you in crafting your application so nothing is left to chance.

Bear in mind that your company’s R&D development must also:

  • Involve working towards resolving a specific technical or scientific challenge
  • Be non-routine, in other words not easily solvable by a professional working in the field
  • Move the company forward in terms of its research and development capabilities

With IDA RD&I funding, companies must also demonstrate that they have:

  • A highly skilled R&D team
  • Created a process for R&D quality management
  • Developed a culture of innovation within the organisation

RD&I funding categories

There are two distinct categories under which you can apply to the RD&I fund. They are:

Research & Development Support: This covers new products, processes or services that bring about a technical or scientific challenge for the company.

Business Innovation Projects: These are projects that focus on the production or delivery methods when it comes to new services.

With both categories, funding will only be awarded to companies that are unique in their approach, rather than taking the well-trodden industry path. After all, it’s about encouraging and supporting Irish innovation, so think disruptive!

All companies submitting an application for R&D support must be EBITDA positive in the previous accounting period. If not, they need to have been EBITDA positive for at least the previous 9 months before applying, and can demonstrate sustainable EBITDA in future.

EBITA stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation. There’s a handy article on EBITA on the Think Business website which you might find useful here.

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.

There is no set claim limit for R&D projects or experimental development. The current rates are below:

Small companies: 45% project funding

Medium companies: 35% of project funding

Large companies: 25% of project funding

For Business Innovation Projects the maximum grant is €150,000 and any company can claim up to 50% of the total amount required.

Remember, the RD&I fund is just one of a wide range of funding options available to new and existing businesses. Other examples include the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) or the Agile Innovation Fund.

How does the process work?

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 as a whole. 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.

How much grant funding can I get?

The level of funding for RD&I grants is determined on a case-by-case basis, which makes a high-quality application crucial. We often find that the senior leadership and subject matter experts within organisations do not have the bandwidth or time to complete a high-quality application or prepare the drawdown documentation. After all, applying for an RD&I grant can be a time-consuming process, including determining applicant eligibility, defining the R&D project, completing the application forms, technical assessment, tracking of activities and preparation of drawdown documents. Again, this is why many Irish companies use the services of R&D grant specialists like Myriad Associates to help.

What costs can an RD&I grant cover?

Common ones include (but are not limited to):

  • Existing staff costs / New staff costs
  • Overheads
  • Consultancy
  • Materials
  • Travel & Subsistence
  • Patenting Costs
  • Capital depreciation
  • Certification and clinical trials

How are final grant amounts decided?

The final amount of grant aid awarded will be negotiated between your company and the IDA. Substantial weighting will be given to 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.

We can’t emphasis this enough: the key lies in making the most comprehensive application possible to get the funding your company really needs.

How can Myriad Associates help?

Based in Dublin but working remotely across Ireland, Myriad Associates is a team of R&D funding specialists who know what goes into a successful RD&I application.

With years of experience behind us, we will sit down with you to discuss your R&D projects and recommend different options that would suit your company best. We’ll then put together a grant claim that is not only accurate and persuasive, but that gets your project off the ground with the right support behind it.

Whether you’re a new start-up looking for funding options to grow, or you’ve been established for some time and are 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.

Get the innovation funding your company needs and start the balling rolling today.

Related articles

Get in touch

Please contact us to discuss how working with Myriad Associates can maximise and secure R&D funding opportunities for your business.

Contact us