Brussels, 25 Oct 2004
The UK's annual research and development (R&D) scoreboard shows that companies that invest in research benefit from higher sales growth and increased share price as a result of their higher value added products and services, according to the UK government's department of trade and industry (DTI).
The DTI 2004 scoreboard lists and analyses data for the top 700 international and top 700 UK R&D investing companies. It shows that the overall business climate for companies active in R&D was particularly favourable in 2003/2004, having doubled its profitability over the last year.
'The 2004 scoreboard proves, once again, that R&D intensity pays dividends for business,' said UK Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Sainsbury. 'The creativity and inventiveness of our people and business is our greatest asset and is essential for high-skilled jobs, successful business and better products. If we can drive investment in R&D up to our goal of 2.5 per cent of GDP, this will help secure the UK a leading place among the major European countries and help close the gap between the UK and the USA.'
The scoreboard also contains information on the sectors investing in R&D. Some 39 per cent of the UK's top 700 countries' investment goes to the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sector, while 12 per cent goes to aerospace and defence. These levels are well above the international average, both in terms of the proportion of R&D investment going into these areas and in terms of R&D as a percentage of sales.
Small software companies are also creeping up the scoreboard. This sector is traditionally dominated by the US, but this UK growth 'augurs well for the future', according to the DTI.
The UK's strong overall position is illustrated by the fact that it has the highest number of companies (165) in the European top 600. It contributes the largest proportion of value added (24 per cent), closely followed by Germany (22 per cent) and France (19 per cent). The 165 UK companies increased their value added by five per cent over the previous year, compared to an increase of only one per cent for the European 600 as a whole.
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