The R&D Scoreboard is an annual investigation of the top 1,000 UK and top 1,000 global corporate investors in Research and Development (R&D). Spend by the UK companies listed increased by 9.2 per cent in 2008 compared with 2007.
The increase was largely due to firms in the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, aerospace and defence, software and computer services and banking sectors, the report found.
Key facts from the latest R&D scoreboard include:
- 81% of UK R&D, carried out by the 1,000 top R&D investing companies, was conducted by just one hundred of these companies, and is dominated by the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sector.
- Globally, the 1,000 companies most active in R&D invested £396 billion in 2008, an increase of 7% on the previous year. The 46 UK companies in this group increased their R&D spend at a faster rate (11.1%).
- 80% of investment in R&D by the global 1,000 companies occurs in five countries: the US, Japan, Germany, France and the UK.
- Global R&D intensity (R&D expenditure as a proportion of sales) stood at 3.4%. Among the UK’s 1,000 leading companies, R&D intensity stood at only 1.6% and at 1.5% for the 46 UK companies listed in the Global 1000.
- Ranked by their value-added contribution, the top 50 UK R&D companies contributed some £385 billion to the broader economies in which they operate. Three fifths of this amount derived from just ten companies. With the exception of the banks, all increased their value-added contributions compared with the previous year.
The Scoreboard is a highly regarded business tool. Even though the current data highlights spending on R&D in 2008 – before the worst of the global economic downturn – it remains an important data source for tracking commercial investment over time.
Science and Innovation Minister Lord Drayson said: “Since 2000, we've provided almost £3.9 billion to innovative companies through R&D tax credits. The UK Innovation Investment fund is about to invest £325 million in promising technology firms. From 2013, we're reducing corporation tax on income from patents to 10 per cent. The Government's commitment to support companies with high-growth potential is clear.”
This is the 19th annual edition of the R&D Scoreboard, which is published by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). This scoreboard and previous editions are available at www.bis.gov.uk/randscoreboard.
The report summarises the 2008 company data on investment in R&D and financial performance of the 1,000 UK companies that have invested most in R&D, including foreign-owned companies whose R&D is conducted in the UK and reported in the UK1000. To put the UK performance into perspective, it also includes data on the 1,000 most R&D active companies globally (G1000) and highlights the main trends in both the UK and global data.