Businesses are the lifeblood of a successful innovation ecosystem. They drive discovery and play an important role in commercialising the brilliant ideas that come from the UK’s research base - turning innovative ideas from concept into reality.
But while there are examples of UK businesses undertaking pioneering research, development and innovation, not enough of this R&D is currently happening across the UK - risking progress on achieving the target of 2.4% GDP spend on R&D by 2027 and the longer-term aim of 3%.
The UK currently spends 1.7% of GDP on R&D - far below the 2.4% OECD average - and UK investment is particularly limited outside of the South East. Just three regions account for 52% of UK R&D spend (London, South East, and East of England) and just five of the UK’s forty sub-regions are investing over 3% of GDP.
This tail of underperforming regions risks holding bac