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Research and development (R&D) expenditure

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  • Release date: 22 November 2017
  • Period covered: 2016
A report, produced by the Office for National Statistics, which show breakdowns of research and development spending and employment by UK business across different market sectors.

Updated for business enterprise expenditure, 2016

Release date: 22 November 2017

Key points

  • In 2016, business expenditure on R&D (BERD) for Wales was £435 million, up 16 per cent in real terms on the figure for 2015. This represented 2 per cent of the UK total.
  • The 16 percent increase was the second largest increase of all the countries and region in the UK and above the increase for the UK average of a 4%.
  • The level of BERD in Wales can be influenced greatly by individual projects commencing or ending in a small number of individual companies. The BERD series for Wales is therefore quite volatile and so a longer-term perspective is of interest. Between 1995 and 2016, the average annual increase in real terms was 5 per cent per year, which is higher than the UK average increase (2 percent).

Gross expenditure, 2015

Release date: 16 March 2017

Key points

  • An estimated total of £663 million was spent on R&D in 2015 in Wales.
  • R&D expenditure in Wales represented 2.1 per cent of total UK R&D expenditure and 1.2 per cent of total Gross Value Added in Wales.
  • Business enterprise R&D accounted for 55 per cent of the total in Wales, with higher education accounting for 43 per cent and government making up 2 per cent.
  • In a small region such as Wales, the level of R&D expenditure can be influenced greatly by a small number of major projects commencing or ending, meaning the time series can be volatile.
  • Regional estimates of expenditure on R&D for the government sector have undergone a change of methodology and now use respondent data in place of using government full time equivalent by region estimates as a proxy to calculate regional breakdowns. This means comparisons to previous years for government R&D are invalid. Government R&D expenditure in 2015 under the old and new methods was £17m and £13m respectively.


As agreed with the Office for Statistics Regulation, these statistics will be updated at 12.30pm. StatsWales tables will follow within 48 hours.


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