Despite the Government’s ambitious target of raising R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, it is not expected to reach this level until 2053. This is of great concern to business as the under provision of research and development funding would stagnate UK business growth at a time when the potential for the UK is immense.
To prevent this shortfall from occurring, the CBI has called on Government in its latest report ‘The Changing Nature of R&D’ to:
- Act on its commitment to delivering the 2.4% target by publishing a roadmap and setting out a long-term trajectory for government R&D expenditure. (See the UK’s current progress on increasing research and development spending here.)
- Make it easier for businesses to navigate innovation support by creating a digital hub that clearly outlines the range of innovation support that businesses can access.
- Introduce new support to help businesses understand the potential value of their data and equip them with the tools to unlock this value.
- Deliver the world’s most competitive R&D tax credit by ensuring that it recognises the growing importance of data-driven R&D.
Felicity Burch, CBI Director of Digital and Innovation said:
“The Government must speed up its effort to hit the 2.4% target or the UK is at risk of falling further behind. Advanced data analytics are opening up a new frontier for UK R&D, to ensure we benefit we must have a comprehensive roadmap underpinned by a boost in public funding to spur growth in UK R&D investment.
“If the UK is to reap the benefits of the data revolution the Government’s roadmap must ensure that the R&D tax credit is modernised, that businesses are able to collaborate with universities on data, and simplify access to innovation support through a ‘one-stop’ shop.”
In the ‘The Changing Nature of R&D’ report the CBI sheds light on how businesses are increasingly using the plethora of data available and new analytics tools to shape innovation. The report provides case studies of firms that are flourishing from their use of data analysis, and also sets out the steps Britain must take to continue on its growth trajectory in this area.
Now is not the time for the UK to get left behind. By embracing these recommendations (developed by the CBI in consultation with its members), the UK can be at the forefront of harnessing the latest trends in innovation and remain a great place to do business.
The CBI’s innovation team will continue to work with Government and members to support the adoption of these recommendations. Members may wish to get involved further in this Campaign by participating on one of our member’s Working Groups.
The report was published to coincide with the launch of the University of Leeds' innovation unit Nexus. Read more from the unit's director, Dr Martin Stow, about how creating the right environment can boost innovation success.