Annual R&D spend in the UK reaches £25 billion

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) businesses in the UK spent £25 billion on research and development (R&D) during 2018.

The figure represents a 5.8 per cent increase on the previous year when the figure stood at £23.7 billion.

The ONS claim the figures highlight an upward trend when looking at R&D expenditure in constant price terms with an average annual growth rate of 2.5 per cent since 2007 levels.  The increase from 2017 was 3.9 per cent.

The largest increase in R&D expenditure came from the Aerospace sector which rose 14 per cent to £210 million.

Pharmaceuticals maintained its position as the largest product group, with £4.5 billion expenditure, a 3.3 per cent increase on 2017. The product group accounted for 18 per cent of total expenditure performed in UK businesses.

Motor vehicles and parts took second place, increasing by 4.3 per cent to £3.8 billion, continuing the growth seen over the last nine successive years.  This group represented 15 per cent of total expenditure.

Large increases in expenditure were also seen in the telecommunications group, at £192 million (25 per cent) and other manufactured goods at £48m (21 per cent).

The top five product groups accounted for over half (54 per cent) of the total UK business R&D expenditure in 2018.

More than two-thirds of product groups saw increasing investment in R&D. However, 10 product groups posted a decline. The largest two decreases were in electricity, gas and water supply; waste management, and food products and beverages; which both fell by £21 million.

Link: Research and development expenditure