Belfast Telegraph

Minister unveils £50k grants boost for new research and development

By Heather McGarrigle

Northern Ireland businesses could soon receive up to £50,000 of government support for research and development.

Small businesses and those focusing on prototype development are the main targets of Invest NI’s ‘boosting business through research and development’ campaign.

Under the scheme, small companies will now be offered up to 75% grant support for projects up to a maximum of £50,000.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster made the announcement during a visit to concrete firm Macrete Ireland in Toomebridge, which has just announced a £637,000 investment in research and development.

Mrs Foster said: “Recent figures show that Northern Ireland expenditure on research and development in 2010 was the highest ever, with spending by businesses increasing by 6% on the previous year.

“This shows that businesses recognise very clearly the value of investing in new products and processes to keep ahead of the competition and strengthen their long-term position,” the minister added.

Efforts have been made to streamline the application process for the research and development support.

Applications will be sought on a call basis, with the first call opening earlier this month.

Financial support will also be available for businesses of any size to undertake prototype development and market entry projects.

Belfast Telegraph