R&D expenditure increases

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Total expenditure on research and development (R&D) by UK businesses last year increased by 8% to £18.4 billion at current prices compared with 2012 (6% at constant prices), according to the Office of National Statistics.

It said civil R&D expenditure increased by 8% in 2013 to £16.7 billion while defence R&D expenditure increased by 7% to £1.7 billion. The ONS added: "In 2013, expenditure on R&D performed in UK foreign owned businesses increased by 11% and constituted 54% of total expenditure. Expenditure on business R&D in 2013 represented 1.1% of gross domestic product." In 2013, total business employment in R&D in the UK increased by 11% to 178,000 full time equivalents, the largest annual increase since 1985 Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, said: "Business expenditure on R&D has now returned to pre-recession peaks, good news as innovation helps companies compete in fast-changing global markets. Manufacturers have continued to prioritise investment in innovation over a challenging few years, but though we're back to where we were, we're not yet where we want to be. R&D expenditure remains low compared with international levels." He added: "Government support for innovation makes a difference, but funding levels are insufficient. The Autumn Statement must increase funding for the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and set out a long term funding settlement to enable Innovate UK to maintain the breadth and scale of its existing programmes."