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Government allocated record levels to research and development in 2020 - Minister Harris

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has welcomed the latest figures on Government investment in research and development (R&D) published today by his Department.


The figures provided to the Central Statistics Office/Eurostat show Government spend on R&D was €866.8m in 2020, an increase of 8.1 per cent over the previous year.


Commenting on the report, Minister Harris said: “Ireland’s economic growth and prosperity is very much dependent on our continued investment in Research, Development and Innovation.


“This investment is all about developing a competitive knowledge-based economy and society, driving innovation in enterprise, building human capital, and maximising the return on RDI investment for economic and social progress.


“It is very encouraging to see the increasing overall levels of public investment in this area, especially given the competing demands and continuing pressure on public finances in these challenging times.


“We know we have much more to do if Ireland is to become a world leader in research and innovation. Early next year, we will publish a new Strategy for Innovation outlining Ireland’s ambition in this area.”


The data in the Research and Development Budget 2020-2021 publication is compiled from a comprehensive survey of forty-five Government Departments and agencies that are active in R&D, either by way of investment or activity.


It shows that the Government spend on R&D was €866.8m in 2020, while allocated funding is anticipated to increase by a further 9.5 per cent to reach €949.1m in 2021.


The report provides details of Government funded research programmes and highlights the extent and variety of R&D being carried out in the country.


The report also brings together the latest data on business, higher education and government agencies’ spending on R&D in Ireland. In 2020 Gross Expenditure on R&D (GERD) across all sectors of the economy was €4.595 billion. The highest expenditure on R&D continues to be within the business sector which accounted for an estimated €3.4 billion or 73.8 per cent of total GERD.



Notes to Editor

The figures compiled for the report are provided to the Central Statistics Office/Eurostat under Commission Regulation (EC) No. 995/2012.

To read the report in full, go to