Record spend on Research and Development in 2012

Nov 29, 2013

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster today welcomed figures that show Northern Ireland saw the highest ever Research and Development (R&D) expenditure in 2012.

Total R&D investment was up by 10% from 568 million in 2011 to 624 million in 2012, in cash terms. This was equivalent to an 8% increase in real terms.

Commenting on the figures, the Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster said: “I very much welcome the latest figures which show record investment in R&D in Northern Ireland in 2012. Businesses increased expenditure in R&D has now reached a record high of £461million, an increase of 19% over the year.”

Referring to the fact that total R&D expenditure for SMEs increased by £32million (23%) from 2011 to £173million in 2012, in cash terms, the Minister continued: “Since 2007 SME R&D expenditure has increased by 47% and it is encouraging to see an increase of 23% over the year in the total R&D expenditure for SMEs.

“Although our largest firms inevitably undertake much of the business R&D in our economy, our SMEs can be amongst the greatest innovators. This is hugely impressive given the challenging trading conditions companies are facing. It is also testament I believe to the continued commitment by the NI Executive to prioritising innovation and R&D as a key driver of economic growth.”

Arlene Foster concluded: “Forward-thinking companies recognise that investment in R&D places them in a strong position to exploit future opportunities. Northern Ireland has some outstanding R&D intensive firms across its key sectors and we must continue to build on this.

“Working in partnership with my Executive colleagues I am committed to helping many more businesses invest in R&D and Innovation. Invest NI recently published their mid-year results and they are delivering a very strong performance towards R&D Programme for Government targets. To date, £217million of investment in R&D has been secured against a target of £300million and 41% of this investment has been by SMEs, which is well ahead of the 2011-2015 PfG target of 20%.”

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