Action needed to boost R&D business spending
London-based Leyton, the UK’s leading innovation funding consultancy, is calling for businesses to act now and boost investment in research and development. The call comes in response to the latest ONS figure for overall investment in R&D as a proportion of GDP. This revealed that the UK had invested 1.69% on R&D as a proportion of GDP, falling well below the European Union (EU-28) provisional estimate of 2.07%. At the present trajectory this will also see the UK fail to meet its target of 2.4% by 2027.
Leyton is encouraging UK businesses to take advantage of Government tax relief schemes to encourage investment in innovation, particularly given the current uncertainties surrounding Brexit. Overall the UK ranks eleventh in R&D investment despite being the fifth largest economy. There is also a mixed picture of investment throughout the country. The UK spent £527 on R&D per head of population in 2017, with England spending £554, Scotland £466, Northern Ireland £371 and Wales £238.
William Garvey MD, Leyton UK comments:
“As we prepare for the fourth industrial revolution, it is vital that the UK develops competitive advantage through innovation. We would urge the Government to go further and faster to increase the funding for the incentive schemes for companies to innovate, including the Research and Development Tax Credits (RDTC) initiative and the Patent Box scheme. Also, more needs to be done to promote the schemes to drive take-up across all industry sectors.
Additionally, we would like to see more focus placed on STEM skills in schools as the foundation for jobs in innovation in the future. Placing more weight on these subjects in education will be crucial for the UK to remain competitive in the new digital economy.“