Scotland leads the UK on R&D spending, new figures show


Sweden has the highest R&D investment in the EU at 4.04 per cent

NEW figures from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre show Scotland is leading the UK in higher education investment in research and development (R&D).

In 2013 higher education R&D expenditure in Scotland was 0.78 per cent of GDP, compared to 0.44 per cent for the UK as a whole. The regions with the next highest R&D expenditure was London and the north-east with 0.49 per cent.

Mark McDonald, SNP MSP, welcomed the figures as a boost for innovation in Scotland.

He said: “These are very welcome figures and show that Scotland is top of the class on R&D spending in the UK. This PS2bn investment in R&D is testament to the hard-work and reputation of our world-class universities and the important research they undertake.”

McDonald added that the SNP could do much more to increase innovation with control over business taxes “including R&D tax credits”.

The UK overall figure for 2013 R&D investment as a percentage of GDP is 1.63 per cent, well below the EU average of 2.2 per cent. Sweden have the most R&D investment at 3.32 per cent, with South Korea leading globally at 4.04 per cent.

Sixty-five per cent of all UK R&D investment is in the business enterprise sector, just above the EU average of 64 per cent of total R&D investment.

Twenty-six per cent of R&D investment in the UK is in the higher education sector (compared to 23 per cent across the EU), seven per cent is in the Government sector and two per cent in the private non-profit sector (compared to 12 per cent and one per cent respectively across the EU).

Picture courtesy of Evan Raskob