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Research and development (R&D) expenditure

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  • Release date: 16 March 2017
  • Period covered: 2015
  • Next update: 22 November 2017
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.

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.

Updated for business enterprise expenditure, 2015

Release date: 17 November 2016

Key points

  • In 2015, business expenditure on R&D (BERD) for Wales was £362 million, down 7 per cent in real terms on the figure for 2014. This represented 2 per cent of the UK total.
  • The 7 percent decrease was the largest decrease of all the countries and region in the UK and below the UK average of a 5% increase. 
  • 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 2015, the average annual increase in real terms was 5 per cent per year, which is higher than the UK average increase (2 percent).


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