Not more R&D, just more disclosure

UK businesses have spent £2bn more on R&D this year – over 10% – according to the Department of Trade and Industry. The DTI’s 2006 R&D Scoreboard showed investment is currently £19.2bn compared with the £17bn reported in the 2005 scoreboard. However, put back the champagne, because about two-thirds of this increase is in the banks, insurance, media and retail sectors just disclosing their R&D budgets for the first time. The last one-third of the increase was a 4% rise in R&D spending by the top 800 UK companies. This is lower than the European average of 5.6% and the 30.5% in Taiwan.