• UK ‘must attract larger share of the global R&D market’

    960 640 Stuart O'Brien

    The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) has published new analysis on how the UK can attract international investment in research and development (R&D).

    The analysis looks at UK regional performance in attracting foreign investment into R&D and suggests actions businesses can take to win more overseas investment.

    The analysis reveals:

    • The UK attracts an exceptional share of research-intensive foreign investment disproportionate to its size, however, there is underutilised potential to attract even more of this type of investment;
    • In 2021, the majority of UK expenditure on R&D was made by business (£46.9bn). Of this amount, some £16.4bn came from business with overseas ownership, representing over one third of the UK total expenditure;
    • The United States, Japan and China are the primary source markets for foreign investment in UK R&D.

    Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of NCUB said: “Countries around the world are investing in R&D and are sending positive signals to global business to invest with them. In the UK, expenditure on R&D by businesses with overseas ownership is significant. To protect and grow this investment alongside increased investment by domestic businesses, the UK needs to ensure that its offer is co-ordinated, coherent and effectively communicated. We must behave as a competitor in the global market for R&D investment. Working to ensure that its benefits are felt across the UK.”

    “Although the UK draws a significant amount of international investment, now is no time for complacency. If the Government is serious about growing the UK economy through greater research and innovation, we need to see a fundamental step change in levels of private R&D investment into the UK from overseas. However, despite various strategies, reviews, incentives and policies, private R&D investment is broadly flatlining. Understanding the drivers of foreign R&D investment, and designing policies and communications accordingly, is essential to future prosperity and progress.”

    Read the report in full here.

    Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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