1. Main points

  • In 2014, total expenditure on Research and Development (R&D) performed in UK businesses, in current prices, increased by 6% to £19.9 billion compared with 2013

  • Civil R&D expenditure increased by 7% in 2014 to £18.4 billion, while defence R&D expenditure decreased by 6% in 2014 to £1.6 billion

  • In 2014, expenditure on R&D performed in UK foreign-owned businesses increased by 2% and accounted for 52% of total expenditure

  • Business R&D expenditure as a proportion of current price Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014 remained unchanged from 2013, at 1.1%

  • In 2014, total expenditure on R&D performed in UK businesses, in constant prices, increased by 5% compared with 2013

  • In 2014, total business employment in R&D in the UK increased by 7% to 192,000 Full Time Equivalents (FTE)

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2. Overview

This release provides estimates of businesses' expenditure and employment relating to R&D performed in the UK in 2014. These statistics are presented on a current price basis, which reports prices as they were at the time of measurement and not adjusted for inflation, and constant prices, which are prices adjusted for inflation between years using the GDP deflator. The latter is more appropriate when analysing changes in R&D expenditure over time.

R&D is defined as “creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications”. The statistics are produced according to internationally agreed standards defined by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), as published in the “Frascati” Manual.

R&D statistics are collated using information from 5,500 businesses1 from across the UK and provide data from 1993 onwards. These data are used across government for policy and monitoring purposes on science and technology, of which R&D is an important part, and are also used in academia and the private sector. From 2014, R&D will contribute to the formation of UK assets, and therefore feed into key economic statistics such as GDP and the value of the UK’s net worth.

In March 2016, we will publish UK Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) for the year 2014. The GERD statistical bulletin will include estimates for R&D carried out by 4 sectors of the economy: namely business enterprise (BERD), higher education (HERD), government including research councils (GovERD) and private non-profit (PNP) organisations. GERD is the preferred measure for use in international comparisons of overall R&D expenditure.

We also publish the UK Government Expenditure on Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) statistical bulletin. SET statistics are broader than just research and development (R&D), as they comprise government R&D expenditure (performed in the UK and overseas), knowledge transfer activities, the indicative UK contributions to the European Union’s (EU) R&D expenditure, and personnel associated with scientific and technical postgraduate education and training.

Notes for overview

  1. Each year approximately 4,000 businesses are selected for this survey by us from a continually updated register of known R&D performers in England, Scotland and Wales. In addition to this, approximately 1,500 businesses in Northern Ireland are surveyed by the Department for Finance and Personnel, Northern Ireland (DFPNI) and their estimates added to those collected by us to form UK totals.
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3. Your views matter

We are constantly aiming to improve this release and its associated commentary. We would welcome any feedback you might have, and would be particularly interested in knowing how you make use of these data to inform your work. Please contact us via email: RandD@ons.gsi.gov.uk or telephone Cecil Prescott on +44 (0)1633 456767.

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4. R&D expenditure

Expenditure on R&D by UK businesses reached £19.9 billion in 2014 in current prices, up from £8.1 billion in 1990. The change in R&D expenditure reflected a steady increase over the period, with an average annual growth rate of 3.8%.

In constant price terms, the value of R&D expenditure in 2014 (£19.9 billion) reached its highest level on record, surpassing 2013’s high by £0.9 billion. A long-term upward trend is still evident when considering R&D expenditure in constant price terms, with an average annual growth rate of 1.4% since 1990 levels (£14.4 billion) (Figure 1).

Figure 2 shows total business R&D expenditure in 2014 represented 1.1% of GDP. This estimate is in line with recent years which have fluctuated between 1.0 and 1.1 every year since 2000.

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5. R&D expenditure by product group

On an annual basis, the 400 largest R&D performers, which accounted for approximately 79% of the 2014 total R&D expenditure estimate, are asked to select the industry product groups that best describe the type of R&D activities that they undertake. For the 2014 survey, the largest 400 performers were those businesses previously reporting more than approximately £4.4 million expenditure on performing R&D. The concept of "product groups" is discussed in detail as part of the background notes to this release (Background Note 9).

Since 2013, 24 of the 33 product groups experienced an increase in levels of R&D expenditure by UK businesses in current prices, while 7 product groups decreased. In terms of percentage growth, the largest increases were in the Casting of iron and steel (89%), Wholesale and retail trade (47%) and Construction (45%) product groups.

In 2014, Pharmaceuticals continued to be the largest product group, with £3.9 billion expenditure in current prices, accounting for 20% of total expenditure on R&D performed in UK businesses, despite experiencing decreasing expenditure for a third successive year (Figure 3).

The largest increase in an individual product group was in the Motor vehicles and parts group, which increased for the third year in succession, to £2.3 billion in 2014, an increase of £236 million (11%) from the estimate of £2.1 billion in 2013, accounting for 12% of total expenditure on R&D performed in UK businesses in 2014.

More evidence of the growth in the Motor Industry can be viewed in our statistical bulletin ”UK Manufacturers’’ Sales by Product (PRODCOM) for 2014.

Another notable increase was in the Computer programming and information services activities group which increased by £220 million in current prices from the 2013 estimate of £2.1 billion in 2013, a 10% increase to £2.4 billion. In 2014, this group also accounted for 12% of total expenditure on R&D performed in UK businesses.

Other product groups reporting around £1.0 billion or more R&D expenditure in the UK in 2014 were:

  • Aerospace, £1.7 billion (9% of total R&D expenditure)

  • Miscellaneous business activities; Technical testing and analysis, £1.4 billion (7%)

  • Machinery and equipment, £992 million (5%)

  • Telecommunications £957 million (5%)

These 7 product groups accounted for 68% of the total UK business R&D expenditure in 2014.

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6. Civil and defence R&D expenditure, by broad product group

R&D expenditure statistics can be split between the civil and defence sectors. Expenditure on R&D performed by UK businesses in the civil sector in 2014 (£18.4 billion) accounted for 92% of the total, with the remainder accounted for by defence (£1.6 billion). The value of R&D expenditure within the civil sector in 2014 reflected a 7% rise on the previous year, while expenditure on defence R&D experienced a decline of 6% over the same period.

Figure 4 presents civil and defence R&D expenditure since 1990, and highlights that, while R&D expenditure by businesses in the civil sector increased by an annual average growth rate of 2.1% in constant prices since 1990, business expenditure on R&D in the defence sector decreased by an average of 2.9% per annum over the same period.

Civil R&D expenditure can be further split between the Manufacturing, Services and “Other” sectors (see Table 5 in 2014 Datasets). In 2014, expenditure in Manufacturing accounted for 65% of total civil expenditure on R&D performed in UK businesses, compared with 75% in 2003. Manufacturing accounted for 88% of total defence expenditure on R&D performed in UK businesses in 2014, compared with 90% in 2003.

Mechanical engineering, part of the Manufacturing sector, was the largest contributor to defence expenditure on R&D performed in UK businesses (29% of total defence expenditure) in 2014, with Aerospace (23%) the second highest.

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7. R&D expenditure by industry

Estimates of R&D expenditure on an industry basis, according to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), were first introduced in the 2011 BERD statistical bulletin to broaden the scope of the estimates (See Table 27 in 2014 datasets).

It is important to note that estimates of R&D by industry are not directly comparable with the estimates of R&D expenditure by product group. This is because businesses may report significant R&D in product groups which are different to the main classification of their business according to the SIC. See Background Notes 9 and 10, which explain the concepts of product groups and SIC in more detail.

The highest level of business R&D expenditure in 2014 by SIC was performed by businesses that were classified to the “Scientific Research and Development” industry, at £5.0 billion which represented 25% of total expenditure (Figure 5).

Five other industries had R&D expenditure of around £1.0 billion or more:

  • Manufacture of motor vehicles and trailers, £2.0 billion (10%)

  • Architectural and engineering activities, £1.7 billion (9%)

  • Computer programming, consultancy and related activities £1.6 billion (8%)

  • Manufacture of other transport equipment, £1.6 billion (8%)

  • Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products, £1.0 billion (5%)

These 6 industries accounted for 65% of the total UK business R&D expenditure in 2014.

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8. Employment in UK businesses on performing R&D

Estimates of employment in R&D are produced on a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis, whereby businesses convert part-time employees’ hours into full-time employees’ equivalent. FTE estimates provide a better indication of total labour input than a simple headcount.

The lowest level of employment in R&D in the last decade occurred in 2005, when 146,000 FTE were employed, while the highest level (192,000) was reached in 2014 (Figure 6).

The number of FTE staff employed in R&D has increased from 179,000 in 2013 to 192,000 in 2014, an increase of 7%. While there has been growth in recent years in the number of people working on R&D, this should be seen in the context of a growth in the total employment in the UK labour market. Therefore, part of the growth in employment on R&D may be reflective of the wider growth in total employment in the economy. See our labour market statistics for more information on total employment levels.

The 2014 estimate comprised:

  • 102,000 scientists and engineers (53%)

  • 57,000 technicians (30%)

  • 33,000 administrative staff (17%)

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9. Country and regional breakdown of expenditure and employment in UK businesses on performing R&D

It is possible, using data from the BERD survey, to analyse R&D expenditure by country and region. In this context, “region” refers to the location where a business performs R&D, not the location of either the business’ headquarters or that of any external funders.

The South East and East of England continue to dominate where R&D expenditure takes place in the UK. These 2 regions combined accounted for 43% of UK business R&D expenditure in 2014 (Map 1). These regions combined also employed 75,000 FTE which made up 39% of total R&D employment in 2014.

The regions or countries with the lowest levels of employment in R&D were the North East employing 4,000 FTE, with Wales and Northern Ireland both employing 5,000 FTE R&D staff. (Map 2). These regions or countries also have the lowest corresponding totals of expenditure on business R&D.

The majority (92%) of UK R&D expenditure was carried out in England in 2014.

The largest overall increase in expenditure by region since 2013 was in London, which rose by £490 million (37%) in current prices from the 2013 estimate of £1.3 billion. West Midlands also showed an increase in expenditure of 16% in current prices since 2013, from £1.7 billion to £2.0 billion in 2014. South West, Wales and Yorkshire and The Humber also showed increases of 11%, 8% and 8% respectively in R&D expenditure in 2014 compared with 2013.

The largest overall decrease in expenditure by region since 2013 was in Northern Ireland, which fell by £82 million (19%) in current prices from the 2013 estimate of £434 million. The change in R&D expenditure in Northern Ireland is the result of several factors, including revisions to reported data, relocation of R&D performance or R&D projects reaching maturity resulting in the R&D work for companies coming to a natural conclusion. The latter can have a large impact on annual Northern Ireland R&D estimates particularly where larger companies have concluded a significant R&D project.

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10. Sources of funds for expenditure on R&D performed in UK businesses

The largest source of R&D funding in 2014 was businesses’ own funds at £13.7 billion, which increased by £1.0 billion (8%) on the 2013 estimate of £12.7 billion. Businesses’ own funds accounted for 69% of total business R&D expenditure in 2014 compared with the 2013 estimate of 68%.

Overseas funding of UK businesses’ R&D was £3.8 billion in 2014, as it was in 2013. This accounted for 19% of total expenditure by UK businesses on performing R&D in 2014, compared with the 2013 estimate of 20% (Figure 7).

The UK government’s funding of businesses’ R&D in 2014 was £1.9 billion, an increase of £55 million (3%) in current prices from the 2013 estimate of £1.8 billion. This represented 9% of total business R&D expenditure. UK government funding was mostly in the defence sector (£1.1 billion), which made up 57% of government funding of business R&D expenditure. This includes government-awarded contracts to UK businesses to develop aircraft, naval ships, submarines and their systems and equipment.

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11. Ownership of businesses performing R&D in the UK

In 1993, when the BERD survey began on an annual basis, 73% of UK business R&D expenditure was by UK-owned businesses and 27% by foreign-owned businesses. The majority of UK business R&D expenditure continued to be performed by UK-owned businesses until 2011, when for the first time, just over half (51%) of business R&D expenditure in the UK was by foreign-owned businesses. This pattern of ownership continued in 2012 and 2013 with 52% and 54% respectively. In 2014, expenditure on R&D in the UK by UK-owned businesses increased by 11% from 2013. Expenditure on R&D in the UK by foreign-owned businesses increased by 2% and now constitutes 52% of total expenditure in 2014, a slight decrease from the 54% estimate in 2013 (Figure 8).

On 15 March 2013, we published R&D expenditure by foreign owned businesses, which contained more detailed analysis of the pattern of ownership of businesses that performed R&D between 1995 and 2011. This was based on the estimates that had been included in the 2011 BERD statistical bulletin. It should be noted that the original 2011 estimate of the proportion of R&D expenditure by foreign-owned businesses has been revised upwards from 50% to 51%.

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12. International comparison

When comparing total business R&D intensity across countries, it is important to take into account differences in industrial structure. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) produces a Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard to facilitate these comparisons.

In March 2012, as part of a publication ”The UK R&D Landscape”, it was reported that “the business enterprise component of R&D expenditure in the UK is low by international standards, even after adjusting for structural difference between countries. It is also concentrated in the hands of a few very large firms and the small number of industrial sectors in which they are based”.

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13 .Background notes

  1. Main issues specific to this bulletin

    This is the latest annual release about expenditure and employment in Research and Development (R&D) by UK businesses. The results in this release are in respect of 2014. We began publishing annual data on business expenditure and employment in R&D in 1993. The source of the information is the Business Enterprise Research and Development (BERD) survey. A quality report (242.6 Kb Pdf) for the BERD survey is available on our website.

    We conduct the BERD survey annually from a continually updated register of known R&D performers in England, Scotland and Wales. In addition to this, businesses in Northern Ireland are surveyed by the Department for Finance and Personnel, Northern Ireland (DFPNI) and their estimates added to those we collect to form UK totals. As part of the 2014 survey, approximately 5,500 (4,000 Great Britain and 1,500 Northern Ireland) questionnaires were sent to businesses known to perform R&D; this included around 400 of the largest R&D performers, which accounted for approximately 79% of the 2014 total R&D expenditure estimate. Smaller R&D performers and others believed to be performing R and D were selected using various sampling fractions. Industry product group and business employment sizes were the stratification variables. Completed questionnaires were returned by 5,065 businesses representing a response rate of 92%.

    This statistical bulletin reports business R&D performed in the UK, irrespective of the residence of the ultimate owner. Overseas activities of affiliates of UK businesses are not included. Gross expenditure of R&D in the UK performed by all sectors of the economy, commonly referred to as GERD, is reported separately in the annual GERD statistical bulletin.

  2. National statistics

    The UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) has reviewed this publication in its report: “Assessment of compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics: Statistics on Research and Development” which was published on 28 June 2012. This review recommended that the UK Business Enterprise Research and Development estimates be designated as National Statistics, subject to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) carrying out certain requirements. We have carried out the necessary work to meet these requirements and on 3 June 2013, the UKSA confirmed the National Statistics designation of the BERD publication.

  3. Timeliness and punctuality

    An internal investigation was carried out in 2012 to identify if it is feasible to publish these R&D statistics earlier than at present. This investigation concluded that it is not possible for us to bring forward the publication of these estimates in the short-term.

    The main reason for this is that DFPNI runs a business R&D survey in Northern Ireland on an annual basis, and provides us with estimates for Northern Ireland to allow aggregate UK statistics to be produced. DFPNI cannot release these data to us earlier than mid-October. As such, production of the BERD UK statistics cannot be brought forward from November.

    As part of this investigation we sought the views of some of the known users of this publication. They unanimously stated that they were content with the current publication timetable.

    It is important to note that improvements have been made to the processes underpinning the production of these estimates over the last few years and as a consequence timeliness has been improved. For example, 2007 data were published in January 2009, thirteen months after the end of the reference year. In contrast, this statistical bulletin has been published less than 11 months after the end of the reference year.

  4. Completeness of coverage

    As part of the assessment of “Statistics on Research and Development” by the UKSA, a requirement was placed on ONS to review the methodology for producing R&D statistics to identify potential gaps in coverage and meet the coverage requirements of European System of Accounts (2010) (ESA10). To meet this requirement and to assist users in their understanding of this complex issue, an information note entitled ” Coverage of the Business Enterprise Research and Development Survey (147 Kb Pdf)”. was published on 20 November 2012 to address this issue.

  5. Revisions

    The 2012 and 2013 estimates have been revised where necessary to take account of businesses misreporting and late returns.

    One indication of the reliability of the main indicators in this release can be obtained by monitoring the size of revisions. Table 1 records the size and pattern of revisions that have occurred over the last 5 years. Please note that these indicators only report summary measures for revisions. (The revised data may itself be subject to sampling or other sources of error).

    A spreadsheet is available giving the revisions of estimates from 2007 and the calculations behind the averages in the table.

    The revisions table covers estimates of the UK business enterprise R&D expenditure first published from November 2008 (for 2007) to November 2012 (for 2011). A statistical test has been applied to the average revision to find out if there is bias in the estimates. No statistically significant bias was identified.

  6. Sampling variability

    The estimates in this publication are based on a stratified sample drawn from the population of businesses known to actually perform R&D or are likely to be R&D performers. As with any sample survey, the R&D survey is subject to 2 types of possible errors:

    • sampling errors, due to only a sample of the population being surveyed - the methodology for estimation of the standard errors used to measure these is currently under review and therefore the standard errors have not been included in this statistical bulletin
    • non-sampling errors - these include factors such as population coverage, misreporting and non-response bias; these errors are generally hard to quantify, because of the difficulty in identifying the population of actual or likely R&D performers and because of the problems ensuring that businesses adhere to Frascati R&D definitions - the information note (147 Kb Pdf) referred to in background note 4 provides an overview of the survey design and looks at the methods and sources used to update the sampling frame
  7. Discontinuities in data

    The BERD questionnaire was redesigned after the 2007 survey to better reflect user needs to address concerns about data quality and difficulty in completion. While these changes are viewed as being an improvement, they may have had an impact on the comparability of the data returned. Unfortunately, it is not possible to measure this impact.

  8. General information

    These points should be noted when examining the data tables:

    • there may be differences between totals and the sum of their independently rounded totals
    • in some tables, entries have been aggregated to avoid disclosure of figures in which the returns of individual businesses could be identified - where this happens, footnotes have been added to the tables
    • respondents were asked to make a return for the calendar year 2014 or the nearest 12 month period for which figures were available - data for all years published in this statistical bulletin were collected on the same basis
    • it is sometimes necessary to suppress figures for certain items in order to avoid disclosing data from individual institutions - tables which contain data which are disclosive will contain a relevant footnote
    • note that £1.0 billion = £1,000 million in this release
  9. Product groups

    The 400 largest R&D performers are asked to select the industry product groups that best describe the type of R&D activities they undertake. In 2010, these product group descriptions were updated to better reflect the current Standard Industrial Classification (SIC 2007) descriptions. For the smaller R&D performers, no product group data were collected. However, the businesses’ Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes are known from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR). An assumption is therefore made that R&D expenditure is for the detailed product group that corresponds to the individual businesses’ dominant SIC. This approach must be regarded as an approximation since, in practice; an individual business can perform R&D for a range of product groups.

    The implementation of SIC 2007, in 2010, resulted in some businesses’ R&D moving to a different product group than previously published. The largest impact was with businesses with publishing activities as these moved out of the manufacturing sector and started to be included under miscellaneous business activities. There was also an increase in the Other manufactured goods product group due to businesses being reclassified from Textiles, clothing and leather products, Pulp and paper products, Rubber and plastic products, Fabricated metal products, Machinery and equipment and Precision instruments and optical products.

    The broad product groups, which consist of aggregations of the detailed product groups, were refined and expanded in 2002 in order to more accurately categorise the data within the Manufacturing and Service sectors.

  10. Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)

    The UKSA placed a requirement on ONS, as part of the assessment of R&D statistics, to “Review the statistical disclosure practices for BERD statistics, with a view to presenting industry statistics in BERD, and publish the results”.

    The SIC was first introduced into the UK in 1948 for use in classifying business establishments and other statistical units by the type of economic activity in which they were engaged. The classification provides a framework for the collection, tabulation, presentation and analysis of data, and its use promotes uniformity.

    Estimates by SIC are derived by allocating business expenditure to industry classifications using the IDBR. The IDBR is a list of UK businesses that we maintain and holds information on the business activity (based on SIC) of every business.

    Estimates of R&D expenditure on an industry basis can be found in Table 27 of this bulletin.

  11. Employment

    Employment estimates are provided by businesses on the basis of “full-time equivalent” staff, averaged over the year. The categories of employment used are:

    • Researchers (scientists and engineers) – engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge, products, methods and systems
    • Technicians – perform scientific and technical tasks normally under the supervision of researchers
    • Others (administrative) – support staff including skilled and unskilled craftsmen, secretarial and clerical staff participating in R&D projects
  12. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

    A table providing estimates of R&D expenditure by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is included as part of this publication (Table 26). The SME definition used is that under the European Commission Recommendation (2003/361/EC) of 1 January 2003, in which SMEs are defined as enterprises with less than 250 employees. In addition, a criterion of independence is used to exclude enterprises that are part of a larger enterprise group, so that only true SMEs are evaluated. This criterion is important in the context of R&D estimates, given that R&D activity is often carried out by smaller businesses which form part of larger, sometimes multinational, businesses. To apply the SME definition, historic information on business ownership has been obtained using that currently held on the IDBR. Caution should therefore be exercised in making comparisons over time.

  13. Country or regional data

    The following process is used to produce regional estimates of R&D. Businesses receiving the long questionnaire (the 400 largest R&D performers) accounted for approximately 79% of total R&D expenditure in 2014. Each business was asked to provide the workplace postcodes for all the sites at which the business performed R&D and to allocate the total expenditure figures of the business to the sites on a percentage basis. Data for the remaining businesses, which accounted for the remaining 21% of total expenditure, had their regional proportions estimated by grossing up using county region codes from the business register of R&D performers. Aggregation is undertaken at broad product group and county level.

    Estimates for regional breakdowns by product group cannot be accurately measured. Regional estimates are compiled by asking for all workplace post codes where in-house R&D is performed and the percentage of the R&D carried out at each workplace. Where there are multiple product groups and multiple regions, R&D for all product groups is pro-rated according to the reported post code breakdown.

  14. Users and uses of data

    A primary use of the data in this statistical bulletin is that it is a main component in measuring the UK’s gross domestic expenditure on R&D. The other components are the UK government sector, the higher education sector and the non-profit business sector. Gross expenditure of R&D in the UK performed by all sectors of the economy is reported separately, as part of a publication commonly referred to as GERD. The 2014 GERD estimates will be published in March 2016.

    Changes introduced as part of the amendments to the System of National Accounts (SNA) in 2008 and European System of Accounts (ESA) in 2010 specify that R&D, from 2014 onwards, should not be considered as an ancillary activity. Instead expenditure on R&D should constitute investment in R&D assets, which as a consequence need to be capitalised in the UK National Accounts. From 2014, R&D expenditure will contribute to the compilation of the value of the UK’s net worth and be included as part of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates.

    There are numerous other users within and outside government who use these data to produce various analyses and to inform policy decisions. These include:

    • Eurostat (the European Union’s Statistical Office) - the UK provides statistics measuring R&D activity in accordance with the European Commission Regulation No. 995/2012 of the European Parliament and the Council. The business estimates in this statistical bulletin are used to provide information that is consistent with other EU member states and to enable benchmarking to be achieved. Europe 2020 targets for economic growth include 3% of the EU’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (both private and publicly funded) to be invested in R&D by 2020. This means that the estimates in this release are essential in monitoring progress towards this target.

      It should be noted that at the time of this publication, Eurostat have already published provisional estimates for EU member states gross expenditure on R&D in 2014. These estimates include business sector data. The provisional estimates for the UK were based on projections and therefore when making comparisons with other countries, users are advised to use estimates from this release for UK business R&D expenditure, rather than Eurostat’s provisional estimates for the UK.
    • The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) use BERD data to assess policy impact and inform debate. R&D data underpin their assessments of UK innovation performance as well as international work in the field. BIS produced an R&D Scoreboard until 2010. The R&D Scoreboard was the leading source of information and analysis on the world's top R&D active companies, both in the UK and globally. It listed the 1,000 UK and 1,000 global companies investing most in R&D, enabling companies to benchmark their own investments against sector leaders. The Scoreboard was based on data extracted from companies' annual reports and accounts. The last Scoreboard to be published includes commentary and analysis prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit for the year 2010. View the latest R&D Scoreboard.
    • The Welsh Government (WG) and the Scottish Government (SG) use BERD data as a main indicator for measuring the performance of their respective economies within the UK, as well as to monitor and develop R&D policies which seek to increase R&D investment.
    • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) use BERD data to support analysis and advice on policy development. BERD is one of the main data sources for policy evaluation.
    • The Research and Development Society is a UK-based organisation formed to promote the better understanding of R&D in all its forms. It holds regular meetings, usually at the Royal Society in London. The society utilizes BERD data, as a main source of information, for understanding how much UK businesses are investing in R&D on an annual basis and to inform wider debates about R&D.

    Requests for BERD data are made from a variety of sources including academics, government departments, and economic consultants. This means that the data are used in various publications. For example, in June 2013, the National Audit Office published Research and Development funding for science and technology in the UK. This report was published in response to a request from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, and provides an overview of R&D spending in the UK since 1985.

    Do you make use of our annual estimates of UK Business Enterprise Research and Development? If yes, we would like to hear from you (RandD@ons.gsi.gov.uk) and understand how you make use of these statistics. This will enable us, in the future, to better meet your needs as a user.

  15. Coherence and international comparisons

    An information note (807.8 Kb Pdf) providing an assessment of the coherence of R&D statistics with other official statistics was published in 2012 on our website.

  16. ONS business statistics

    There is a Business and Trade Statistics community on the StatsUserNet website. StatsUserNet is the Royal Statistical Society’s interactive site for users of official statistics. The community objectives are to promote dialogue and share information between users and producers of official business and trade statistics about the structure, content and performance of businesses within the UK. Anyone can join the discussions by registering via either of the links above.

  17. Social media

    Follow ONS on Twitter and receive up to date information about our statistics.

    Like ONS on Facebook to receive our updates in your newsfeed and to post comments on our page.

  18. Special events

    We recently published commentary, analysis and policy on “Special Events” which may affect statistical outputs. For full details go to the Special Events page on our website.

  19. Release policy

    Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from our media relations office. Also available is a list of those given pre-publication access to the contents of this release. All data in this release can be downloaded free of charge from our website. Here are the instructions to obtain a full time series of data from the statistical bulletin or release pages:

    • Select “Data in this release”,
    • Select “View datasets associated with this release”,
    • Select the latest release,
    • Select “Select series from this dataset”,
    • Select the reference table of interest,
    • Select “View series”,
    • Select the series of interest (Hint: for a custom download you can use SHIFT to select a range of series or CTRL to select multiple individual series),
    • Select “View selection”,
    • Select “Download”

    Additional standard extracts containing more detail are available on request. Bespoke analyses are also available but there will be a charge for these, please see the R&D charging policy. For more information about either of these services please email RandD@ons.gsi.gov.uk, or telephone +44 (0)1633 456767.

    Any bespoke analysis carried out for R&D customers will be available free of charge on the Published ad hoc data and analysis: Business and Energy pages of our website.

  20. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Cecil Prescott
RandD@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456767