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R&D target is clear but a plan is needed

23 Apr 2018

CaSE has responded to a new report from the Public Accounts Committee, highlighting concerns over the lack of a clear plan from Government to meet research investment targets.

Responding to the report, CaSE Exeutive Director Dr Sarah Main said, 

“The target is clear, but a robust plan to reach it needs to be developed soon in order to meet it.

To attract new private sector investment at the scale required to meet the target, Government must lead the way in supporting the environment that attracts research-led industries, such as our academic strength and skills mix. Therefore, alongside other levers to increase private investment, front-loading public investment will be an essential part of the package to boost industry confidence. Government must play its part by increasing public investment in research and development to 0.7% of GDP by 2022. This would be an important interim milestone if the plan to increase total investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 is to succeed.”


Based on the latest published figures (GERD 2016) 

  • Current R&D investment: Total £22.1bn, Public £9.15bn, Private £24bn
  • Current R&D investment as a % of GDP: Total 1.67%, Public 0.46%, Private 1.21%
  • Based on a proportion of 70% private, 30% public, the UK ratio as of 2015  
  • To reach the 2.4% target, private investment would need to increase by £8bn, an increase of 33%
  • To reach the 2.4% target, public investment would need to increase by £6.2bn, an increase of 68%
  • Taking announcements since 2016 into account, public investment should reach £12.5bn a year in 2021. If that becomes the new baseline, the increase to reach the total public portion of the target (£15.4bn/0.8% of GDP) is an additional £2.9bn.
  • CaSE submission to the PAC inquiry
  • Public Accounts Committee report and recommendations, Research and Development funding across government