Why you should be investing in Research and Development


Investing in Research and Development (R&D) is crucial not just to business growth but to survival.

Studies show a solid link between investment in R&D, profitability and growth. Add to that the battle to survive in an intensely competitive global market and the decision to invest in R&D becomes, in today’s jargon, a ‘no-brainer’.

Investing in R&D leads to long-term benefits including increased sales, efficiency, productivity and competitiveness.

Everyone is aware that the world’s most successful companies are continually reinventing their products and services but that it is equally true of many successful SMEs in Northern Ireland They recognise that there is always scope to enhance or develop new products or services to meet evolving customer needs. This is essential if they want to stay ahead of the competition, retain their existing customers or grow their customer base.

Get support for R&D

Some businesses are reluctant to undertake R&D because of the perceived risk and cost. But there are many sources of support. For first-time investors in R&D, Invest NI can provide up to £50,000 of assistance. Support is also available to businesses that want to undertake further R&D projects which will improve or develop new products or processes through new scientific or technical knowledge.

There is also a wealth of funding available UK wide, primarily through Innovate UK and EU wide, primarily through Horizon 2020, particularly for businesses that are interested in collaboration. Even with Brexit on the horizon, businesses can continue to apply for EU-related sources of finance.

In addition, R&D tax credits can significantly reduce the cost of carrying out R&D projects or UK Patent Box which can reduce Corporation Tax to 10%.

Get inspired by R&D

DisplayNote Technologies is a small company with R&D at its core. It has secured significant sales of its products with major corporations worldwide. Paul Brown, the company’s CEO explains how important R&D is to the company’s success.


Other companies are making small investments that are delivering big results. Software company Hyperoo took its back-up product to a higher level with an R&D investment of £49,000 with an R&D grant from us. The result of the investment is first-year sales of £85,000.

A £67,000 R&D project by Amphora Technologies has created a unique, non-destructive instrument to test the durability of reinforced concrete on-site. The company is now finalising distribution agreements in China.

R&D is your essential next step. To find out about our support, call us on 0800 181 4422.

Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.