UK innovation gets a boost as R&D spend hits pre-crisis levels

Chris Papadopoullos
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Many areas of the UK are hotspots for innovation (Source: Getty)
Research and development spending is staging a recovery.

Business expenditure in the UK grew by 5.7 per cent in 2013, according to data released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics.

“Business expenditure on R&D has now returned to pre-recession peaks, good news as innovation helps companies compete in fast-changing global markets. Manufacturers have continued to prioritise investment in innovation over a challenging few years,” said economist Lee Hop­ley from EEF, a manufacturers trade body.

However, Hopley wants to see R&D spending go further and is calling for an Autumn Statement boost for Catapults – state-funded research centres. Business expend­iture on investment remains at 1.1 per cent of GDP, below the Organ­isation for Economic Co-operation and Development – a group of developed nations – average of 1.6 per cent of GDP.

Research published by the Centre for Economics and Business Research yesterday showed that many areas of the UK were hotspots for innovation.

Aberdeen leads the UK in patent applications while Portsmouth has been singled out as the startup capital of the south east.

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