- 81% of respondents believe that Irish companies are more innovative since the onset of the recession
- Nearly nine out of ten firms (87%) surveyed believe that Irish companies are either more innovative or just as innovative as other countries
- Over three quarters (76%) of Irish firms are currently innovating
- Nearly two in five (39%) surveyed are dissatisfied with the government’s efforts to help nurture innovation in Irish firms
Irish companies continue to be more positive about the impact of the recession on levels of innovation according to a new KPMG/RedC survey. Eight out of ten (81%) respondents believe that Irish companies are more innovative since the onset of the recession - an increase of 4% on last year and 9% on 2012.
Commenting at the launch of the survey, Ken Hardy, Partner and Head of R&D with KPMG in Ireland said, “As Ireland moves out of recession, disruptive technologies and intense competition are impacting every sector. It’s good to know that more and more Irish businesses see innovation as a way of future proofing their business.”
Irish innovation findings – How does Ireland compare
Nearly nine out of ten firms (87%) surveyed believe that Irish companies are either more innovative or the same as other countries, an increase of 5% on last year. When asked which country they believe is the most innovative country in the world, nearly half (44%) of respondents listed the USA, with 10% listing Ireland. At 12%, Germany continues to top the list of European countries and remains second overall.
Who’s innovating and why?
Over three quarters (76%) of Irish firms are currently innovating, with a further 13% planning an innovative project in the near future. As with previous years, large companies are more likely to be currently innovating than small companies (82% compared to 73%), though this gap has reduced somewhat since previous years. The availability of qualified in-house personnel continues to top the list of innovation influencers among Irish industry, with 67% ranking it the most important factor in deciding to innovate, with grant funding (52%) and R&D tax credit (38%) coming in at second and third place.
Hardy comments, “It’s encouraging to see smaller Irish companies increasing their planned innovation. Taking advantage of an upturn means looking at new, better products and processes to help secure competitive advantage.”
Innovation and the Irish Government
Nearly two in five firms (39%) surveyed are dissatisfied with the Government’s efforts to help nurture innovation in Irish firms and believe more could be done to support them. Over half (51%) think there needs to be more financial incentives or grants and over one third (36%) believe the Government needs to address taxation issues to support innovation in Irish industry.
Hardy continues, “The R&D tax credit regime has enabled businesses to invest in new or enhanced products, services and processes in a wide range of sectors. However, as with all policies, it needs constant review as Ireland competes as a business location with many other destinations with equal ambition.”
Funding for innovation
The majority of respondents (86%) believe that access to funding is very important to the successful completion of an innovation project. However, only 16% of companies believe there is sufficient information available relating to R&D and innovation funding such as grants and tax incentives.
The number of companies in receipt of grant funding for innovation projects remains steady at 18% (19% in 2013/14). Of those that are currently innovative, 20% have received a grant, compared to 23% last year.
Collaboration for innovation
The number of companies collaborating with a third-level institution has levelled out since a notable dip last year (9%), and now stands at 18% of all companies. Over one in two (52%) companies feel there is insufficient information available on collaboration with a third level institution – pointing to an ongoing issue with the dissemination of important information to companies seeking to innovate.
Hardy concluded, “Collaboration between industry and academia is an area of focus for the Government, specifically called out in various elements of the Action Plan for Jobs. We would therefore expect these figures to improve in the near future as steps are taken to address the relatively low levels.”
Download KPMG’s Innovation Monitor 2014/2015 here (PDF, 7.4MB).
Ireland and EMEA
R&D Incentives Practice Leader
D: 01 410 1645
1 Stokes Place
St Stephen’s Green
T: 01 410 1000
F: 01 412 1122