Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

UK research spending at new low

BRITAIN'S SPENDING on research and development fell in real terms for the fourth year in a row in 1997, official figures yesterday show. As a share of output, R&D spending dropped to 1.8 per cent, the lowest recorded and well below the average for other leading economies: the same figure is 2.3 per cent in France and Germany, 2.6 per cent in the US and 3 per cent in Japan. The Budget pre-announced a new R&D tax credit for small companies.

R&D in 1997 funded by business accounted for pounds 7.25bn of the pounds 14.65bn total, and rose by 4 per cent in real terms on the previous year. Direct government-funded R&D was pounds 2.33bn, diving by 7 per cent in real terms.