Industry based on physics contributes €38bn a year to the Irish economy, a new report from the Institute of Physics has claimed.

However, the organisation says if Ireland is to sustain this work and continue to build its physics based industries, there needs to be strong support for basic research.

The study, carried out by the UK based Centre for Economic and Business Research, examined the period of 2011-2014 to see what contribution physics based industries including electrical component manufacturing, extraction of oil and gas and computer service make here.

It found they generated €49bn in turnover in 2013 alone, equivalent to 14% of the overall turnover in the business economy.

287,000 people are employed in the sectors, representing nearly 9% of total employment, which is greater than both the financial and construction sectors.

In 2014 the industries accounted for just under 83% of all external research and development spending, and each employee accounts for around €138,000 a year in added value to the economy.

The report will be launched at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition today, as the Institute of Physics says it wants to highlight the importance of encouraging young people into science.

Chairperson of the institute, Dr Mark Lang, also said that while Ireland is strong physics nation, it must strongly support basic research if that is to continue.

The report has been welcomed by Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan, who said more must be done to ensure a greater number of schools offer physics at Leaving Cert.