Spending on research and innovation has received a moderate increase of 12% or €40.25 million in Budget 2019, according the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Among the measures to be funded by the €368.95 million expenditure plan is the new Disruptive Technologies Fund, which will receive €20 million. 

The previously announced PhD Research Programme will cost €10 million, while the renewal of funding to six of the first seven Science Foundation Ireland research centres will cost €5 million.

The funding for Ireland's entry into the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is also included in the expenditure plan for next year.

The failure to provide for a more significant increase in research spending means the government will almost certainly fail to reach the expenditure target it set for itself in its research and development strategy, Innovation 2020, three years ago.

That committed to growing R&D spending from public and private sources here to 2.5% of GNP by 2020.

Despite the modest increases in spending this year, the research and innovation budget has been criticised by the opposition.

Fianna Fail's spokesman on Science and Technology, James Lawless, said it was disappointing that there had been no commitment from the government to join CERN, which he described as a missed opportunity.

He also criticised the failure to provide finance for third level research outside of the Science Foundation Ireland system and the absence of money for a successor to the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions.