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Increase in UK R&D spend

The latest R&D Scoreboard reveals biotech and pharma firms dominate the list of UK companies which invested over £26bn in development in 2008

The top 1,000 UK companies invested more than £26bn in developing new products, services and improving productivity in 2008. Of this total, 81 per cent was invested by just one hundred of these companies, with the list being dominated by the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sector. This is according to the latest R&D Scoreboard, published by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).

Spend by the UK companies listed increased by 9.2 per cent in 2008 compared with 2007, due largely to firms in the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, aerospace and defence, software and computer services and banking sectors, the report found.

Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Drayson, said: "Since 2000, we've provided almost £3.9bn to innovative companies through R&D tax credits. The UK Innovation Investment fund is about to invest £325m 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."

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.

1st March 2010

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