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Irish firms stay ahead

IRISH companies are outperforming other states in Europe with their innovation, according to new research.

Forfas, which was behind the publication of the report into the sector, said 76pc of companies with more than 250 employees in Ireland engage in product or process innovation.

But this figure drops to just 38.9pc when looking at smaller firms.

Policy analyst Jonathan Healy said Ireland's small businesses need a supportive and competitive business environment so that they can thrive and grow.