The Office for National Statistics report on R & D spend for the UK in 2010 was released on 9 November 2011. The headline figures show a 3.7 percent increase in R & D spending across all sectors, giving a total of £16.1 billion ($26 bn). This represents 1.1 percent of GDP, a rise in R & D spend in real terms of 0.9 percent after adjusting for inflation.

Within this there is a big drop in defence R & D which was compensated for by a rise of 5,8 percent in civil R & D.

There was more R&D performed in the Pharmaceuticals product group than any other, with expenditure in 2010 at £4.6 billion, 28.8 per cent of all spending. Other product groups reporting significant R&D expenditure were Computer programming and information service activities, which accounted for £1.7 billion (10.3 per cent), Aerospace, which accounted for £1.4 billion (8.8 per cent), Motor vehicles and parts, which accounted for £1.3 billion (7.8 per cent) and Telecommunications, which reported £1.0 billion (6.5 per cent).

So that’s the good news.

But international comparisons put UK plc in a bad light. According to Investopedia it is estimated that the USA is still well top of the pile having put an estimated $405 bn (£250 bn). China, with all its huge size and rapid growth is second with an estimated $154 bn (£100 bn) followed by Japan close behind at $144 bn (£90 bn). On that scale our efforts do not even put us in the first 10 places.

That’s why the government is trying to encourage greater investment in R &D in the UK, and one way is via R & D Tax Credits. This scheme is especially helpful for SME companies, roughly companies with up to 500 employees. It puts cash back into the business based on R &D spending. But too many companies are not claiming – and consequently not gleaning the benefits of increased R & D in their bottom line.

To get your share of htis incentive money contact us today.


Sources: UK Business Enterprise Research and Development, 2010 published by the Office for National Statistics; Investopedia