New R&D spending figures released by the ONS today show a marginal increase in UK R&D spend, but this remains well short of EU averages. Because business understands that R&D continues to be a key driver for UK prosperity and productivity, concerted policy action will be needed from government to raise spending levels to its 2.4% target.
Absolute spending on R&D in 2017 continued to grow above the long-term average:
- R&D grew by £1.4bn to £34.8bn in 2017, an increase of 4.8%, above the long-term annual average increase of 4.1%.
- Business spending grew by £1.1bn to £23.7bn with growth of 4.9%. However, growth was lower than in previous years. Between 2015 and 2016 spending grew by 7.5%.
- The HE sector showed the largest overall increase in percentage terms with a growth of 5.6% from 2016.
- As a proportion of overall expenditure business’ share grew to 68% in 2017. Business’ share stood at 67% in 2016 and 66% in 2015.