New ONS figures out today show that business expenditure on R&D increased by 5% over 2014. EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, welcomes the news as it’s the 3rd consecutive year of growth, but cautions against cuts to Government support for innovation in next week’s spending review.
Felicity Burch, Senior Economist at EEF, says: “UK businesses have upped their investment in R&D for a third consecutive year as a result of ambitious business activity and improved Government support. This has led to strong job creation, with business employment in R&D up 7% over the year. Strong growth in expenditure was particularly notable in the transport equipment and electrical equipment sectors.
“However, today’s data does not change the fact that the UK still lags well behind competitor nations for R&D spend. As the economic outlook remains uncertain – particularly for the manufacturing sector – the Chancellor must get behind innovative businesses and maintain the breadth of innovation support provided by Innovate UK at next week’s spending review. Failure to do so risks Britain falling into the industrial slow-lane.”