There has been a sizeable jump in innovation activities in Ireland driven by an increase in expenditure in research and development, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The total spend on innovation activities in Ireland was €4.6 billion in 2016, a 22% increase on the 2014 figure of €3.8 billion. 
The main driver for this increase was a 15.5% rise in expenditure for in-house Research and Development from €1.9 billion in 2014 to €2.2 billion in 2016. This was the highest share of spend and accounted for 47% of all innovative expenditure.

Acquisition of machinery, equipment and software represented 31% of total spend.

The acquisition of external R&D was 13% of total spend. This involves enterprises contracting-out R&D to public or private research organisations or to other enterprises.

Of the total spend of €4.6 billion by enterprises on innovation activities, the industrial sector accounted for €2.7 billion compared to €1.9 billion for the selected services.  

Industrial sector enterprises spent €1,119 million on machinery, equipment and software amounting to almost a quarter, 24.2%, of total innovation expenditure. Investment in in-house R&D amounted to  €1,069 million followed by €421 million on external R&D,  €42 million on acquisition of external knowledge and €91 million on all other innovation activities.