Higher education R&D at record; total at £2.15bn

UPDATED — Scotland’s gross expenditure on research and development (GERD) rose 1.1% or £23 million in 2015 to £2.15 billion, according to a report from Scotland’s chief statistician.

Scottish GERD was 1.46% of GDP compared to 1.95% for the EU.

The latest figures show that between 2014 and 2015 the gap in research and development spending as a percentage of GDP between Scotland and the EU remained stable at 0.49 percentage points.

However, Scotland’s higher education research and development (HERD) spend reached its highest level since records began, rising 3.3% to £1.092 billion in 2015.

Scotland’s HERD spend as percentage of GDP was the highest of the 12 countries and regions in the UK and fourth highest in the OECD.

Minister for Higher Education, Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Today’s publication further underlines both the value of research and development by our higher education institutions and it’s strengthen both internationally and within the UK.

“The Scottish Government continues to invest in the development and application of research and technology across the sector.

“This includes supporting the network of eight Innovation Centres, which use academic expertise to address real world business issues, backed by up to £120 million funding from the Scottish Funding Council.

“We want to support innovation and to help companies thrive.

“Earlier this year we announced a new Innovation Action Plan to ensure even more firms can realise their ambitions for growth and further enhance Scotland’s global reputation for invention.”

The 2015 GERD figures for Scotland break down as follows:

  • Higher Education R&D expenditure was £1.092 billion, up 3.3%
  • Business Enterprise R&D expenditure was £871 million, down 1%
  • Government expenditure on R&D was £155 million
  • Private non-profit expenditure was £32 million