EU R&D funding not just for ‘white-coated engineers’


23 Jul 2010

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Irish companies should not be misled by the perception that R&D funding on offer from the EU is confined to white-coated engineers, and they should also take advantage of the Government’s ambition to make Ireland one of the world’s leading locations for R&D activity, R&D finance experts Leyton have said.

According to Leyton, Ireland has in recent years punched well above its weight in attracting both domestic and foreign direct investment in R&D.

Since 2007, Irish research institutions, educational bodies and private companies have secured in excess of €213m in funding from the Seventh EU Framework Programme (FP7).

“This significant and very material return is firm evidence of a continued effort at government and state body level (Enterprise Ireland & IDA Ireland) to promote direct activity in this regard. It is almost not politically correct to be showering praise on our current Government at present. However, in this area, it is the view of many of our clients at Leyton, that a very real and recognisable bounce has been felt in attracting and more importantly securing, quality high-tech R&D to Ireland,” said Mark Byrne, business consultant at Leyton.

In recent days EU R&D Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn announced Europe’s largest ever funding investment in research and innovation and on 20 July more than 50 calls for research proposals were issued. There will be something of potential interest in this funding to all types of companies in Ireland, regardless of where they are in terms of R&D capability, according to Leyton.

“Companies who are well informed on the financial and administrative assistance available at a local, national and international level will, in my view, fair best in achieving some measure of stability and economic growth in the medium to long term. It is often the perception that qualifying R&D activities must include white-coated engineers and clean-room type environmental activities, and it is this perception that is leaving very many potentially qualifying companies in the dark and losing out on valuable cash flow savings,” Byrne said.

According to Leyton, for companies engaging in qualifying R&D activities in the Irish State, there now exists a wealth of invaluable and very material benefits from which cash expenditure refunds, corporate tax credits and pre-expenditure grant aid may be secured. Leyton also said it is not unusual to see qualifying companies making use of all of the aforementioned assistance in any one account period.

Article courtesy of Business & Leadership.