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Priority 1: Research and Innovation

The Programme is designed to stimulate the growth of enterprises and the private sector to stimulate and expedite economic growth.

It supports the provision of a range of Research and Development (R&D) activities to encourage NI businesses to engage in and to leverage increased levels of private sector investment in R&D activity. Increased levels of engagement in R&D within NI enterprises is supported by increasing activity in businesses already engaged in R&D and stimulating R&D in companies who have never undertaken R&D before.

Grant for R&D scheme administered by Invest NI

R&D grants provide SMEs and large businesses and entrepreneurs with financial assistance that will give them the incentive to invest in research and development and innovation in their businesses / start-up operations.  A direct outcome of this funding stream will be an increase in NI Business Expenditure on Research & Development (NI BERD), and an increase in the number of Northern Ireland businesses undertaking research and development including those for the first time.

The Grant for R&D Programme offers a broad spectrum of aid intensities through a single gateway and is open to existing and potential Invest NI supported businesses.  Applicants need only submit one application that covers the R&D continuum from industrial research through to experimental development.

Invest NI home page - Support for business. (This link opens an external website)

This priority also supports the provision of a Design Service for NI businesses which will complement the range of support provided with the aim of encouraging NI businesses to harness the benefits that can be derived from good design. Support through the Design Service will enable NI businesses to create design management tools and help them respond to new market opportunities and generate new market and product ideas, with the ultimate aim of encouraging economic growth.

Design Service managed by Invest NI

This funding stream provides businesses with support that will give them the incentive to invest in design in their operations.  The Design Service supports business growth by helping companies to build better design knowledge, skills and capability.  Design is a key tool for business competitiveness and, as such, assists businesses to respond to new market opportunities and generate new product ideas, as well as create design management tools that are appropriate to their business.

Invest NI’s Design Service aims to promote greater design awareness, provide detailed design advice, and develop the long-term design capability of businesses by integrating design and innovation into company management systems and strategies.

Invest NI home page - Support for business. (This link opens an external website)