BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007, 10:57 GMT
Innovation spending grows in UK
The UK's top 75 firms grew their R&D faster than the global average
Leading British companies increased their investment in research and development (R&D) by 9% in 2006, a government report has said.

The top 850 firms spent 21bn on R&D last year, with the pharmaceuticals sector being the largest R&D investor.

The fastest R&D growth of 54% was reported in fixed-line telecoms.

"Innovation will be a key driver of UK prosperity in the decades ahead," said Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson.

'Excellent news'

Business organisation CBI welcomed the findings of the government's R&D Scoreboard, calling it "excellent news".

"For our businesses to remain competitive in an increasingly globalised economy, it is essential they invest in R&D, skills, software, intellectual property and design," CBI director general Richard Lambert said.

He added that the UK government needed to become "more ambitious in its use of public procurement and police strategy to stimulate investment and create new markets for innovation in the UK".

The report, published by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills in collaboration with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, showed that the UK's 75 biggest firms increased their R&D spending faster than the global average of 10%.

Worldwide, companies registered in five countries - the USA, Japan, Germany, France and the UK - contributed 81% of the R&D done by the top 1250 global firms.

Pharmaceuticals companies have become the top global investors in R&D (16% growth), overtaking technology hardware firms (13% growth).

The software and aerospace and defence sectors increased their R&D spending by more than 12%, above the global average.

EU firms 'flagging on research'
11 Jun 07 |  Science/Nature
EU money geared to smart future
07 Feb 07 |  Science/Nature
UK firms increase research spend
30 Oct 06 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific