Knowledge Transfer Ireland has launched a new guide for businesses, featuring a breakdown of research and development funding supports available.

It comes as recent data shows that companies that collaborate with universities have double the turnover of those that don't.

The directory also includes profiles of over 50 research providers, including higher education institutes and research centres.

According to the latest figures from KTI, there has been a steady increase in companies involved in research collaboration over the past few years.

At the end of 2019, there were over 2,000 research projects ongoing between businesses in Ireland and the third level and state research bodies.

That’s a 76% increase since the figures were first available in 2015.

In a statement, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar encouraged business owners to check out the new directory.

He said as the country recovers from the pandemic, the businesses that can adapt and innovate will be the winners.

"For any company thinking of working with a third level institution but don't know where to start, I’d encourage them to have a look at this directory and get in touch with Knowledge Transfer Ireland, which was set up as a kind of a one stop shop to help companies find the research or partner they are looking for," the Tánaiste said.

Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Innovation and Science said there has always been a strong willingness from the third level to engage with companies.

"I have no doubt we will continue to see ambitious spin outs grow out of our universities, institutes of technology and technological universities, as well as existing businesses around Ireland solving real-world problems through collaboration with the third level," he said.

The KTI Directory of Research, Development and Innovation Supports for Enterprise 2021 can be found on the KTI website.