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Research and development (R&D) expenditure

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  • Release date: 15 March 2018
  • 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.

Gross expenditure, 2016

Release date: 15 March 2018

Key points

  • An estimated total of £716 million was spent on R&D in 2016 in Wales, this is an increase of £49 million compared to 2015.
  • R&D expenditure represented 2.2 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 61 per cent of the total in Wales, with higher education accounting for 37 per cent, government making up 2 per cent and Private Non Profit making up less than 1 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.

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).


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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