Research for Irish Companies

There are several research funding opportunities available for Irish companies, most notably Innovation Partnerships.

The Innovation Partnership programme run by Enterprise Ireland (EI) offers up to 80% of the research cost to companies who collaborate in research with a university or institute of technology.

Risk – what the project will yield – is shared by the company, the college and Enterprise Ireland. The programme allows for a company to take bigger explorative risks in R&D while having control the project scope. Importantly, ownership of intellectual property is negotiated at the outset.

A company might alternatively consider paying for the research entirely in order to own the IP at the end, but the costs involved can be prohibitive, and the company is entirely responsible for the project.

The cost of an Innovation Partnership to the company is variable and depends on the type of research involved for example industrial or fundamental research, or collaborative or developmental. When preparing an application for the Innovation Partnership programme, a project is priced by breaking it down into the steps needed to solve the problem. Projects elements which the company can do in-house can be treated as benefit in kind.

One of the major advantages for companies is that there is less onus on the company to ‘project manage’ because the CREST research team is responsible for it. The team in CREST will write the proposal, cost it for the budget, win the project by virtue of their track record and defend the proposal if it is queried by EI’s Industrial Research Commercialisation Committee . The centre will hire and manage the staff and deal with the IP arrangements.

“The CREST Centre is experienced in writing IP submissions and knows what Enterprise Ireland requires from such collaboration. That can be a big deal for a company that hasn’t been to EI before. They don’t see the organisation and they are distant from it.”

CREST has successfully transferred sixteen licenses from previous projects, some of which has enabled Irish manufacturers to commence exporting their products.

Tax Credits

Of particular interest are the tax credits that companies can avail of while engaging in research

  • A 25% tax credit for qualifying Research and Development expenditure exists for companies engaged in in-house qualifying research and development undertaken within the European Economic Area.
  • This credit may be set against a company’s Corporation Tax liability.
  • The tax credit is available on a group basis in the case of group companies
  • See Revenue’s publication  Revenue Guidelines for Research & Development Tax Credit (PDF, 258KB) for further information.
  • See also: http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/ct/research-development-faqs.html#section6

Technology Transfer

To date DIT has agreed 16 licences exploiting CREST know how. The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) within DIT is Hothouse which draws in entrepreneurial and academic talent, ignites creativity and provides a dynamic environment to fast-track businesses and technologies to commercial success.

Details of CREST technologies available for licensing include:

  • Chromate Free Sol-Gel Coating for Aluminium
  • Light-activated Anti-bacterial Powder