Research and development spending hits £2.5bn

The Scottish Government said on Wednesday that record amounts are being spent on research and development, according to its latest statistics.

In 2017, Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD), one of the key measures of innovation, saw around £2.5 billion spent, predominately by businesses and higher education institutions.

The latest statistics show:

  • GERD was £2,529 million in 2017 – up 8.3% in real terms between 2016 and 2017, compared to a 2.8% increase for the UK. It represents 7.3% of the UK total and is at its highest level in Scotland.
  • Business Enterprise Research and Development (BERD) spend was £1,247 million in 2017 – up 13.9% in real terms between 2016 and 2017, compared to a 2.9% increase for the UK.
  • Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) spend was £1,072 million in 2017 – up 2.9% in real terms between 2016 and 2017, compared to a 3.7% increase for the UK.

Innovation Minister Ivan McKee said: “These record figures are excellent news for our economy.

“Scotland’s Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) is growing at almost triple the rate of the UK and our Business Enterprise Research and Development (BERD) is growing at over four times the rate of the UK, with spend at a record high of £1.25 billion in 2017.

“This good performance over the latest year has been driven by very strong growth in business investment in R&D.

“Our higher education facilities continuing their important work with our performance on Scottish Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) amongst the top in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“Business and academia working together is also helping to drive success through initiatives such as the Knowledge Transfer Partnership I have seen here today.

“Foreign-owned businesses based in other EU countries accounted for 24% of Scotland’s BERD spend in 2017, up from 17% in 2016, which again highlights the importance of Scotland’s relationship with the EU.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.