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Government R&D spending in steady decline, says CaSE

Image: Jorge Franganillo [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The Campaign for Science and Engineering has warned that while total UK research expenditure was 5 per cent greater in real terms in 2013 than in 2012, the government’s R&D spend has been on the slide since 2003.

The campaign group’s analysis is based on figures supplied by the UK’s Office for National Statistics, released on 20 March. They showed that Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D, known as GERD, reached an all-time high of £28.9 billion in 2013. But the top line figure conceals what CaSE called a “steady but severe decline” in UK government support for R&D over the previous 10 years.

In 2003, 1.37 per cent of total government spending went on R&D, CaSE’s analysis shows. In contrast, the £8.4bn government R&D spend in 2013 represented only 1.18 per cent of government outgoings. The UK lags behind its competitor nations on this measure, the campaign group says.

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