Research, Development & Innovation (RD&I) Fund



The Research, Development & Innovation (RD&I) Fund supports the development of new or substantially improved products, services or processes which will have a competitive advantage in their target market. This will enable companies to increase employment through sustainable and substantially increased sales.

  • R&D projects involve the resolution of some technical challenges in order to develop new products, processes or services.
  • Business Innovation projects involve the implementation of a new services delivery or production method or a substantive change to the business model of the company.

Projects must be non-routine and represent a ‘step-up’ for the company in terms of the level of RD&I capability. All projects must have clear objectives and activities defined to achieve those objectives set out in a project plan.

If your Development Adviser (DA) instructs you that this is an ERDF project, click on ERDF Information for Clients.

For Agile Innovation projects, go to Agile Innovation Fund. 


What is a R&D project?

R&D projects supports companies which have the potential to develop novel products, processes and services with a clear competitive advantage in their target market. This will enable companies to increase employment through sustainable and substantially increased sales.


What is a Business Innovation project?

Business Innovation projects involve a significant step-up in how the company does business. Examples could include;

  • moving from a product company to providing complementary services or vice versa
  • a change to the business model in terms of external partnerships and market reach
  • significant scaling of an existing service involving automation

The project must involve some level of innovation and risk, and should not be focused on routine operational changes, simply adopting known best practice or responding to changes in regulation.

Costs that can be supported relate to the implementation of the new process, delivery or organisational method and may involve technical as well as non-technical staff.


Am I eligible?

You are eligible to apply if your company is an Irish based manufacturing or internationally traded services company which can show adequate cash resources to implement the proposed R&D project.  HPSU companies are not eligible to apply.

A company will normally be considered a HPSU for 5 years from the time it first receives financial support from Enterprise Ireland, or until it exceeds a turnover threshold of €1m whichever is the earlier. However a HPSU client may be eligible for RD&I grants if it meets the following conditions;

  • has achieved sustainable revenues of €500,000 and;
  • is EBITDA positive in the previous accounting period or for at least the previous nine months prior to application and;
  • can demonstrate sustainable future EBITDA and;
  • in the previous 6 months and during the course of the business plan the company has not raised external finance in the form of equity (subject to no double funding).

Clients should contact their Development Adviser for further advice.  All applications will be subject to a technical and commercial assessment.

Enterprise Ireland funding to support companies is provided against an agreed company growth plan. Please contact your Development Adviser or the Client Relationship Team to discuss your project and see how Enterprise Ireland can work with you to ensure your company gets the most from any financial support.


What is the maximum funding level?

Grant rates are determined by the type of project and the size of your company as set out in the table below. Companies seeking support in excess of these amounts will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the Enterprise Ireland Investment Committee using a similar approach and grant rates as the R&D Committee.

Small CompaniesMedium CompaniesLarge CompaniesMaximum Grant
R&D Projects45%35%25%€650,000
Business Innovation Projects50%50%0%€150,000

A collaboration bonus of up to 15% is available for R&D projects where there is collaboration between two companies, but the total maximum funding cannot exceed 50% of the total project cost.

Note that Business Innovation support is not available for Large companies


How do I apply?

For R&D and Business Innovation projects:

  1. View the Application Roadmap
  2. Read the Guidelines for Companies Applying to the RD&I Fund  
  3. Proceed to:

    The online application forms provide a step by step guide on how to complete each tab.
  4. The following documents are also required for a complete application.
  5. Review RD&I Project Change process    
  6. Submit online

It is also possible to submit an Outline Proposal document to EI and get an initial indication on the eligibility of one or several project(s). Download the template here. The template should be completed and emailed to

The RD&I Fund Reference document  contains full detail on the projects and activities eligible for support, and the criteria on which applications will be assessed.

Please note, for successful applicants, only eligible expenditure incurred after the call close date for which the application is submitted will be considered for funding by the approval committee. In order to be eligible for R&D support, the beneficiary must submit an application to Enterprise Ireland for support before any work on the R&D project starts.


Call close dates

Applications for funding will be considered on a monthly call basis. Completed online applications must be submitted on or before 6.00pm on the call close date. The call close date is always the last working day of each month.


Upcoming Events

Enterprise Ireland will host a number of regional events on our new Agile Innovation, Research and Development funding programmes. Further dates will be added soon.


Research, Development and Innovation Funding
Venue: CoLab, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Port Road, Letterkenny, Co Donegal
Date: 7 March 2018
Start Time: 08:30 Finish 12:30
Registration link will open soon


Key contact/more information

Clients of Enterprise Ireland and Údaras na Gaeltachta should contact their Development Adviser. If you are not a client of Enterprise Ireland, please contact your local Enterprise Ireland regional office. 

For general enquiries on the RD&I Fund, please contact:

Joe Madden

In-Company R&D Supports

Enterprise Ireland

+353 1 7272243

Joe Madden

Debbie Nolan

Executive, In-Company R&D

Enterprise Ireland

+353 1 727 2587

Debbie Nolan

For Agile Innovation projects, go to Agile Innovation Fund.

For more information on Enterprise Ireland supports for research and innovation, go to Research and Innovate section.