LONDON There has been a £2 billion rise in U.K. companies' R&D investment according to figures published in the Department of Trade and Industry's 2006 R&D Scoreboard.
R&D investment is £19.2 billion compared to £17 billion reported in the 2005 Scoreboard. Around two thirds of this increase is due to companies in sectors such as banks, insurance, media and retail disclosing R&D for the first time. The remaining third reflects a four percent increase in R&D by the top 800 U.K. companies compared with the previous year.
The U.K.'s top R&D companies are keeping pace with their US counterparts in the world's top 1250 R&D companies, with both showing an 8 percent rise in R&D compared with the previous year.
The Scoreboard also shows U.K. companies' continuing strength in aerospace and pharmaceuticals and reflects a growing software sector – aerospace R&D is up 21 per cent and software up 13 per cent.
The top ten foreign-owned U.K. companies account for just over half of the £4.4 billion of R&D performed by foreign-owned U.K. companies. Eight of these 10 have higher R&D intensities than their overseas parents.
Smaller U.K. companies are increasing their R&D as well as larger ones: this year, 88 more companies reported over £0.5 million of R&D.
The Scoreboard covers company-funded R&D only, it does not include publicly funded R&D.