According to ONS data released today the UK experienced a 3.4% increase in real terms in government R&D spending in 2022, from £14.98 billion to £15.49 billion. This growth level, however, is significantly less than other OECD nations.

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) said: “Whilst government spending in R&D has grown from £14.98 billion in 2021 to £15.49 billion in 2022, some 3.4% growth in real terms, we still lag behind the OECD average of a 6% investment growth. This should ring alarm bells. The UK’s global R&D competitiveness will slip if we do not keep up with the growth seen around the world.”

Marshall concluded: “This comes against a backdrop of worrying trends in private investment in research and development. Around the world, private R&D investment rose by an average of 5% in real terms in 2022 across the OECD, with even higher growth in countries such as the US, Japan and South Korea. However, private R&D investment in the UK actually declined by 0.4%. We therefore face an uphill battle to fully capitalise on our R&D potential. By fostering an environment conducive to innovation and collaboration, the UK can position itself as a leader in R&D, driving economic prosperity and societal advancement.”