Letters: R&D no panacea

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The Independent Culture
R&D no panacea

Sir: Roberta Nichols (letter, 30 June) asks why the fund managers who invest on our behalf - as pension fund members and savers - fail to see that more investment in research and development might mean a little less dividend now but ensure a better future for UK technology and industry.

For my part, I would not wish to see the managers who look after my investments encourage companies to spend more on R&D than their track record suggests that they can exploit. The worry is that, with notable exceptions, the evidence seems to be that British companies are less competent in this respect than are their foreign competitors and, even more worryingly, are significantly less active in the R&D-intensive sectors on which future prosperity depends than are those competitors.

The relative performance of British companies will not improve until general management standards are raised.

Dr D W BUDWORTH

London W4

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