The Government is increasing public R&D spending by £7 billion by 2022. This is the largest increase on record. The latest ONS data estimates that overall gross R&D expenditure in the UK was £33.1bn in 2016, which was 1.7% of GDP in that year.
However, UK expenditure on R&D lags behind many of our competitors.
- The latest OECD international comparison of R&D expenditure ranked the UK 5th in the G7 and 10th among EU nations in 2016. 
- According to data collected by the OECD, the average spend on R&D as a proportion of GDP across the G7 in 2016 was 2.23%.
- According to data collected by the OECD, the average spend on R&D as a proportion of GDP across OECD countries in 2016 was 2.34%.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said:
“It is good news that the Government is increasing R&D expenditure. R&D expenditure can result in new jobs, new businesses and new technologies.
“As well as the quantity of expenditure, the quality of R&D expenditure is crucially important. The Government should benchmark UK investment in science and research against other OECD countries, in order to support and grow our knowledge economy.
“It should be a priority for the UK Government to increase public investment in science, research and innovation, not least because there is a correlation between government investment and tax support for R&D, and the degree that business invests in R&D.”
 For data collected by the OECD, Gross domestic spending on R&D is defined as the total expenditure (current and capital) on R&D carried out by all resident companies, research institutes, university and government laboratories, etc., in a country. It includes R&D funded from abroad, but excludes domestic funds for R&D performed outside the domestic economy.